Flakka-related incidents make up 34 percent of Broward’s reports just within the first three months of 2015. The cheap, synthetic drug is already dethroning cocaine that Florida may have been entering the threshold into a new world, according to detective William Schwartz, a veteran narcotics officer with the Broward County Sherriff’s office.
The rapid spread of the drug, also known as “gravel” and “Molly,” can be blamed to online companies in China that makes purchase as easy as going online, placing an order and wiring payment. With these three easy steps, orders will then be shipped like an ordinary door-to-door mail.
Crossing the threshold into a new world
Flakka is cheap and very accessible. A kilo, worth $50,000 from dealers, can be bought from a Chinese websites for as cheap as $1,500. If accessibility is not enough of an obstacle to U.S. authorities, Flakka is legal in China as a “research chemical.”
Flakka is becoming the normality. “We are crossing the threshold into a new world,” Schwartz told Reuters.
Online shopping spree, cheaper than a Big Mac
Flakka users can just go online, place an order, wire payment and wait for the ‘package’ to be delivered straight to their mail boxes. A simple Google search conducted by Sun Sentinel pulled up Chinese websites that advertise “big, beautiful crystals” or “research chemicals.”
Users can key in a category of their preference, Sun Sentinel has found. Users can order Flakka for stimulation and euphoria, smoking, psychostimulant, hallucinogenic or dissociative effect. Some Chinese websites guarantee a “special method” of delivery to “bypass customs,” the Sun Sentinel reported.
“It’s that easy, and it’s despicable. These drugs are being shipped from China right to your doorstep. You only have to be educated enough to use a computer and you can find it,” Schwartz said.
Special Agent Kevin Stanfill said that that most troubling fact about Flakka is that it is cheaper than a Big Mac.
“Flakka is cheaper than a Big Mac. A flakka capsule goes for $3. Most of our kids have $3 in their pockets. That’s the thing that scares me the most, how cheap it is,” Stanfill said.
Flakka’s frightening long-term effect
A Flakka user can hallucinate and enter a delirium for three to four days if he or she is new to the drug. Frequent users remained hallucinated for as long as 14 to 16 days.
A twenty-year-old girl cannot talk anymore, cannot recognize anybody and cannot support herself in walking after taking Flakka, said Dr Peter Ventre, a psychiatrist at Fort Lauderdale Hospital.
Twenty-seven people have already died because of Flakka overdoses in the last eight months in Boward County alone, said James Hall, an epidemiologist at Nova Southeastern University.
In Fort Lauderdale, Fire rescue is receiving seven to eight Flakka-related calls within a shift. Lt John Heiser said they have to respond to unpredictable scenario. They have to be prepared for anything, like subduing a young girl without any clothes on running in the streets.
“You’ll find them running around without any clothes on, bizarre behavior. Almost like a schizophrenic behavior. Some of these patients will be combative so we have to have police escort us. They get this superhuman strength and you’ll see them take of their clothes because they become hyperthermic,” Heiser told NBC Miami.
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