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Florida Facing Serious Problems with New Street Drug

Florida police are struggling to deal with a new street drug that is sweeping through the state and has caused multiple instances of violence. The new drug, called “flakka,” is a cheap but potent synthetic drug. It has been linked to a number of incidents that involve bizarre and sometimes violent behavior. Similar to bath salts and ecstasy, flakka is quickly becoming one of the most popular drugs across southern Florida for those suffering from substance abuse.

What is Flakka?

Otherwise known as “gravel,” flakka is a synthetic drug with a primary component of alpha-PVP, which is a stimulant that can cause bizarre behavior when used in high concentrations. The adverse effects of flakka can include psychosis, violent behavior, and excited delirium. However, other powders have been sold as flakka that were actually a combination of cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin.

The program coordinator for the Palm Beach County Substance Abuse Awareness Coalition has stated that flakka is very popular and making its way into Palm Beach County. According to state statistics, southern Florida crime labs have reported more than two hundred cases of flakka use in 2014, compared to only six cases in 2013 and two cases in 2012.

Incidents Involving Flakka

There have been a number of incidents in the news around southern Florida involving people who have taken flakka. Last month, Derren Morrison, 27, of Palm Springs was charged with second degree attempted murder when while under the influence of flakka knocked on the door of an 81-year-old woman and repeatedly attacked her. According to police reports, Mr. Morrison admitted to using the drug and believed that someone was trying to kill him.

In another incident, Leroy Strothers, 33, was arrested on weapons-related charges after he was coaxed from a rooftop where he was naked and screaming that he was going to “shoot everybody like Rambo.” In addition, more than one man has been arrested attempting to break into the Fort Lauderdale police station while under the influence of flakka, and another man was arrested in Broward County for running naked through a busy intersection because he believed that men were out to get him.

Treatment of Flakka Substance Abuse

Treatment centers around the Palm Beach area have only reported a few cases of flakka users needing help, but they expect to see more cases of flakka abuse as people with substance abuse problems look for newer and more potent drugs. Currently, flakka can be purchased cheaply in a capsule or small bag form for only $5 to $10.

As a result of the increasing use of flakka and other synthetic drugs, the Substance Abuse Awareness Coalition is launching a new website designed to educate the Palm Beach population about the dangers of these drugs. “We do expect it to rise because it’s sort of the new thing. This is the next, stronger thing. It’s more potent than bath salts and (the synthetic drug known as) Molly.”

Call a Florida Substance Abuse Attorney Today

If your loved one is suffering from substance abuse in the West Palm Beach area, the experienced attorneys at Gary Roberts & Associates are here to help you get them the treatment that they need. Reach out to us today for assistance.

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