Broward County's leading officials, including BSO Sheriff Scott Israel, Mayor Tim Ryan, and the county's medical examiner, to name a few, got together at the Urban League of Broward County to discuss the dangers of flakka, the synthetic drug that has dominated headlines across the United States lately.
Flakka has been most prevalent in Florida, specifically Broward County, where there has been a 45 percent increase in flakka cases over the past year. On Wednesday, the officials, along with reps from the Urban League, State Department of Health, Broward Schools, United Way, Broward Addiction and Recovery Center, and Broward Health, discussed the dangers of the drug with hundreds in attendance.
Specifically, the officials talked up what New Times has been writing about for a while now: that flakka is extremely cheap to get and extremely dangerous.
"In small doses, it causes euphoria, a good feeling," president and CEO of Broward Health Dr. Sabil Sanadi, said at the meeting per NBC Miami. "A little bit extra, a couple more granules of the drug would actually kill someone, it could cause their muscles to break down, it could have them have a stroke, their heart could stop."
Reporters at the meeting also noted how Sheriff Israel called flakka the "$5 insanity drug," a phrase coined by Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University.
All in all, the meeting was a step in the right direction in educating the public on what exactly flakka is and why it's such a threat.
Flakka is a synthetic stimulant made from a-PVP (or methylenedioxypyrovalerone). As Hall tells us, the drug is basically a hodgepodge mix of chemicals, like sort of a cross between crack cocaine and meth. It's a synthetic cathinone, much like bath salts, which means it's made from one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant.
It's like bath salts but more addictive. And like meth but much cheaper. And now, according to one study, it's actually more addictive than meth.
Flakka has made headlines over the way users have been overtaken by its psychosis-inducing potency. Most recently, a Melbourne teen who had jumped through the window of a family's home charged a police officer covered in glass and blood screaming out, "I am God! I am Satan!"
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