A relatively new designer drug known as flakka (alpha-PVP) or gravel has steathfully made its way into the United States. Several incidents have occured in Florida, and recently an FSU student stabbed a couple, injured a neighbor who tried to intervene, and when the police arrived, he was found gnawing on the face of one of the victims. He was making animal noises, and even a stun gun was ineffective against him. It took four officers to finally pull him off the man.
Flakka is a man-made synthetic cathinone drug that looks like bath crystals, and it is mostly imported from China. It can be ingested by being snorted, eaten, injected or vaping which is the most dangerous as it goes straight into the bloodstream and can produce an immediate overdose of the drug. The worst part is that it’s highly addictive, it can be bought on the streets or online, it simulates the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine magnified 10 times, and only costs about $5. It's not only the price, but the effects of the drugs that can last for several days which entices new users to fall into a drug habit that can be very difficult to overcome.
The flip side of this cheap euphoria is extremely dangerous. It can raise your body temperature to 104 degrees and elevate your blood pressures, all of which can cause several body organs to fail or produce a heart attack, stroke or other life threatening health event.
As with other drugs the user wants to recreate the initial rush, and in order not to crash, it drives the person to increase their intake. This is when the dangerous downside of this drug will begin to manifest. According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the user can experience Excited Delirium (ExDS) which is characterized by delusional behavior, high pain tolerance, sweating, panting, agitation, lack of tiring, unusual strength, feeling extreme body heat which precipitates shedding clothing, and in some instance attraction to mirrors or glass.
All of this translates into paranoia, a racing heart, panic attacks, depression, suicidal ideations and decreased sex drive all of which culminates in a violent and psychotic individual.
Presently the DEA classifies this as a Schedule 1 Controlled Substance, and 20 other countries including China have banned over 100 synthetic drugs among them flakka. It is illegal to produce, transport or ingest this type of drug.
The behavior exhibited by persons who have taken this drug is described as "zombie-like" or "possessed by demons". This might be a little over the top, but after seeing the video below, it's very easy to see why it's described this way.