From Burger King and Subway to ringtones and wallpapers, Americans love their custom designed life. It makes us feel we are in charge and can have the “good life.” Now drug dealers are pushing a designer drugs to their pickier clientele. The newest, and deadliest, drug to pop up on the designer drug scene is Flakka, a close cousin to the popular bath salts, will be discussed in this sample essay.
But, while Flakka brings with it the desired euphoria drug dealers charge good money for, the new drug also brings more devastation and danger than most of the commonly known drugs, including crack, the previous most dangerous drug in the United States. Doctors, law enforcement agencies, and national health organizations are taking on a proactive role to decrease the spread of the new designer drug, while fighting the challenges or foreign transit, middle- and upper-class wealth, and the age-old federal versus state jurisdiction wars.
A little drug with a big punch: What is “Flakka”?
Flakka, also referred to as gravel because it’s white crystal appearance resembles the gravel rocks found in most home aquariums, it is also called gravel because of its white crystal chunks that have been compared to aquarium gravel, is scientifically known as alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (A-PVP). A-PVP is a synthetic stimulant drug belonging to the cathinone class. It was developed in the 1960s and is related to pyrovalerone, another highly addictive and catastrophic drug.
Researchers compare the bath salt-type drug to cocaine and other forms of crystalized drugs. However, medical doctors say the toxicity of Flakka is 100% higher than cocaine and methamphetamine (meth). Flakka (A-PVP) currently is listed as a Schedule I drug under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety and Innovation Act (FDAIA).
FDAIA drugs are listed as those that have a high potential for abuse. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
The FDA considers Flakka to have no true medical necessity, run the risk of addiction, and is dangerous outside of a scientifically controlled environment. In the U.S., doctors are not allowed to prescribe, hospitals are not allowed to dispense it, and research companies are restricted to the amount of Flakka. The FDA lists several reasons for outlawing the drug in 2012. It is more addictive and deadly than cocaine. But the medical dosages are not easy to manage.
“It’s so difficult to control the exact dose,”
Jim Hall, a drug abuse epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, told reporters this year. He also said
“Just a little bit of difference in how much is consumed can be the difference between getting high and dying. It’s that critical”.
The drug can be smoked, injected, snorted, or absorbed, and doctors say it can lead to a range of extreme symptoms. Reactions include excited delirium that brings with it violent tendencies and hallucinations. And, like cocaine and other similar drugs, Flakka increases the body’s temperature, making it difficult to maintain a regulating balance for healthy versus unhealthy microorganisms.
Drug addicts who experiment with this designer drug also succumb to paranoia and often turn on those who care for them. But it is the incredible anger and violent tendencies that have law enforcement concerned.
Flakka rage at its worst
Law enforcement officials say, while Flakka can kill the addict, the biggest danger is the Hulk-like rage Flakka abusers exhibit. Doctors agree and say the drug increases the adrenaline and can cause the addict to have large bursts of in-human strength. Recently in Florida, local news reported a man in South Florida tore through the hurricane-proof doors at a police department. He told investigators he was addicted to Flakka and was on the drug when he went into a blind rage.
But this incident isn’t isolated. Flakka has, often humorous, many incidents were the addict has lost their mind due to paranoia induced rages or delusions of grandeur. Jim Hall, an epidemiologist at the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities at Nova Southeastern University in Broward County, Florida, told CBS News Flakka causes floods the brain with dopamine and then block the transmitters. Hall told reporters:
We’re starting to see a rash of cases of a syndrome referred to as excited delirium. This is where the body goes into hyperthermia, generally a temperature of 105 degrees. The individual becomes psychotic, they often rip off their clothes and run out into the street violently and have an adrenaline-like strength and police are called and it takes four or five officers to restrain them. Then once they are restrained, if they don’t receive immediate medical attention they can die.
One such tale includes a divine story mixed with designer drugs. The synthetic drug caused one man to think he was Thor, the Norse god of thunder who lives in Asgard with his father Odin. The South Florida man, aka Thor, ran naked into the streets, streaked through a few neighborhoods, and was molesting a tree when police finally apprehended him. But this wasn’t the only au natural event caused by Flakka. But this one doesn’t involve a god from ancient mythology.
This man also ran through his neighborhood nude. The twist to this story is he thought he was running for his life. The Flakka convinced him he was being chased by a pack of German Shepherds. Fortunately for him, the police caught him before the snarling beasts could sink their imaginary teeth into his nude behind. One counselor even describes it as a discount insanity.
“I’ve had one addict describe it as $5 insanity. They still want to try it because it’s so cheap,” Don Maines, a drug treatment counselor in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, told AP.
Florida’s Flakka fallout: Why is the drug popular in the south?
Sunny beaches, fabulous mansions, crystal blue seas, and food from every corner of the world, Florida has it all. And now it is home to the nation’s deadliest drug. Florida law enforcement officers noticed an uptick in Flakka arrests, particularly among dealers, over the past three years. But administrators thought it was a fad and would go away, as with most atypical drugs and criminal behavior.
After all, they’d seen worse. But law enforcement officials now admit it is a larger problem than they originally thought it would be. The drug has increased to most major cities and has instigated violent crimes across the state. The governor even talked about instituting a special task force to get rid of the popular, cheap designer drug.
Out of the most recent reports of criminal and insane behavior caused by Flakka, newspapers report Florida takes home about 60 percent of those incidents. Indeed, federal law enforcement officials didn’t realize there was a Flakka problem until Florida’s database sounded an alarm and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers received warnings of increased movements of Flakka in the region.
This led to a deeper investigation, and the DEA found several businesses and research facilities were using assumed identities to purchase and distribute the designer drug against DEA and FDA regulations. This urged the two organizations to place a temporary ban on the drug, until investigators and legislatures can determine the next course of action.
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