Flakka: The Latest Drug to Hit the Streets
Flakka, also called gravel because it looks like the gravel in the bottom of fish tanks, is one of the latest synthetic drugs to hit the streets. Similar to bath salts, meth or cocaine, this is a very dangerous drug.
Use of the drug, which can be snorted, smoked, injected, and swallowed, has been linked with serious — and sometimes deadly — behavioral problems:
- Earlier this week police arrested a man on flakka running naked across an intersection to escape the imaginary people he said were chasing him.
- In February, a man on flakka was caught on camera trying to kick in the glass doors of Florida’s Fort Lauderdale police headquarters.
- And last March, a man on flakka reportedly impaled himself on a metal fence.
If these behaviors remind you of the ones that made headlines a few years ago with the appearance of drugs called “bath salts” — it isn’t a coincidence. The two drugs are closely related.
Please, this message is to everyone who reads this blog. I’m an alcoholic and a person with substance use disorder, now in recovery nearly 17 years. I have used all sorts of drugs. One of the reasons alcohol became my drug of choice was because even though I was underage for many of my substance abusing years, the penalties for being caught drunk or with liquor were less harsh than for getting caught with other drugs. I know what it’s like not to want to go to jail. I understand wanting to alter your consciousness and have a spiritual experience. I certainly get wanting to use drugs to make you thinner! But, please, please – do not use these engineered drugs because they are temporarily legal. They are made by goodness only knows who using goodness only knows what. You have no real idea what you are getting. I see all the time the shocking (and yes, sometimes deadly) results these drugs have. A lot of the damage, especially to the brain, is permanent. Flakka. Bath Salts. Spice. Even meth. These drugs are not much different than ingesting drain cleaner. Some are even made with components of poisons or solvents. Please do not do that to yourself.
As a person with substance use disorder in recovery, I never condemn those who use substances, either recreationally or addictively. I have been there and know that there is a lot of draw to use drugs. But these new designer drugs are simply poison. Please don’t use them and if you need help to stop, call someone right now. You deserve a better life.