Why Flakka Is Florida’s New Most Dangerous Drug (And What You Need to Know)

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2015 | News

So many of America’s most outrageous headlines seem to begin with the same two words — “Florida man.” Or, as was the case in Fort Lauderdale recently, “Florida superhuman.”

The Sunshine State has a reputation for its citizens’ zany antics, which have become a staple of social sharing in the digital age. Seemingly every month, Facebook feeds and Twitter timelines light up with the sensational news of yet another Floridian gone wild. And more often than not, illicit drugs are involved.

Case in point: the Florida man who got high on Flakka and then tried to break into — where else? — his own city’s police department.

How One Florida Man Summoned Superhuman Power Against the Police

A Florida man was reportedly running — no, fleeing — down Broward Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale when he started to get people’s attention. Apparently, he believed that a number of vehicles were chasing after him, and that the entirety of Broward Blvd. was out to get him.

As you might have surmised, the good patrons of Broward had no actual vendetta against the man, but as he was under the influence of a dangerous new drug called Flakka, he couldn’t be dissuaded at the time.

Desperate for salvation, he reportedly ran to the local police precinct and attempted to break in. Security footage found the man harnessing “superhuman strength” as he punched the doors, hurled rocks at the glass, and even turned around to deliver a direct mule kick to the entrance. In fact, he very nearly pulled the well-secured doors right off their hinges, but it was ultimately to no avail.

The police quickly caught up with Florida Man, subduing him and placing him under arrest.

Why Flakka is Florida’s New Most Dangerous Drug

You may recall that a few years ago, bath salts made a big splash in the Florida headlines. The synthetic drug spawned a series of notorious and unbelievable episodes — most notably the story of Rudy Eugene, who allegedly ate part of a homeless man’s face off while under the influence of bath salts.

But while so-called “bath salts” remain a real threat in Florida, a newer variation on the drug is proving even more alarming. Flakka is a synthetic street drug that causes intense hallucinations, uncontrollable and sometimes-violent behavior, a dangerous spike in temperature and blood pressure, and a real risk of death for both the user and his or her victims.

While the word is out on bath salts, Flakka is so dangerous in part because it’s relatively new. Curious young people may be tempted to try the drug without understanding what it is, leading to troubling incidents like the one involving the man and the Ft. Lauderdale police.

What You Need to Know About Flakka

Parents are understandably concerned about the rise in Flakka throughout South Florida. At Kaire & Heffernan, we share in that concern. As Miami personal injury attorneys, our goal is to educate the community on the threat of dangerous drugs and to hopefully spare impressionable young people who might be pressured into trying it.

If you’re a parent or student in South Florida, here’s what you need to know about Flakka:

  • The drug’s reputation is that it creates a high similar to that of cocaine, but the effects can actually be far more dangerous and less predictable.
  • People may sometimes consume Flakka in the mistaken belief that it is cocaine.
  • Flakka goes by the street name “gravel.”
  • It is sometimes mixed with synthetic marijuana, cocaine, or crystal meth.
  • The drug can be snorted, smoked, or injected.
  • Users are drawn to the “Incredible Hulk”-like feeling they experience when on it.
  • Dosage for Flakka is wildly unpredictable. Even a very small increase in the amount of the drug can produce a fatal overdose.
  • Flakka is extremely toxic to the kidneys. Doctors fear that survivors may require lifelong dialysis.
  • CNN recently reported that Broward County sees 3-4 hospitalizations a day for Flakka intoxication and overdose, and even more on the weekends. Florida (and especially South Florida) is the leading national hotbed for Flakka, though experts still haven’t figured out why.

Concerned About the Threat of Flakka in Your Community? Let Us Know.

If you’re one of the few who haven’t yet seen the surveillance video of Florida man attempting a police break-in, you can find the shocking footage here. It’s a vivid demonstration of the state of mind Flakka can inflict.

We hope that this story might help to curb Florida’s Flakka boom. Unfortunately, enforcement proves tricky. While the DEA has enacted a ban on the drug, manufacturers can easily sidestep those regulations on a technicality, as we’ve seen them do with bath salts and synthetic marijuana in the past.

We care deeply about the safety of our communities throughout South Florida. If you or a loved one has been injured and you believe that Flakka or any other synthetic drug might have played a role, we may be able to help.

Alternatively, if you’re simply concerned about the threat this dangerous drug poses, we hope you’ll help us spread the word. Share this article with your family and friends, and sound off with your own thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Mark Kaire has been practicing law in Miami for nearly 15 years. He is dedicated to helping the injured people of Miami receive compensation. Mr. Kaire has been blogging on Miami’s legal issues for 4 years.