Flakka, a synthetic drug produced in China, has been on the rise in Florida. According to an article published in Fire Engineering, although cases of Flakka have been found in other states such as Tennessee and Ohio, the majority of Flakka abuse and overdose has been seen in Florida. Jim Hall, a drug abuse epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University, reported to CNN that there are three to four hospitalizations a day in Broward County.
As reported by CBS News, Flakka causes delirium, violent behavior, spikes in body temperature, paranoia, and death. Flakka is in the same type of chemical used to make Bath Salts, another designer drug that was related to a series of incidents as recent as 2011. Hall also told CBS News that Flakka is more dangerous than MDMA, also known as Ecstasy. In a previous article that explored the various factors that contribute to illicit drug rates of South Florida, MDMA was listed as the most readily available drug in Florida. A dose of Flakka is as cheap as $3.
Dawn Gordon, an addiction and alcoholism therapist at Corner Stone Recovery Center, has seen several cases of Flakka in Broward County. Gordon stressed that one of the primary concerns for Flakka is that it is often mixed with other drugs such as heroin and cocaine, making it more difficult to assess the strength of it. Experts continue to research the drug and have classified Flakka as a drug of concern, especially in Florida.