A designer drug known as Flakka that has been around for a few years is gaining prominence, particularly in Florida, although it has also been seen in Texas and Ohio recently and officials believe it will start popping up in other cities soon.
According to the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Flakka cases have increasedÂ from no reported cases in 2010 to 85 cases in 2012, and now greater than 670 in 2014.
Flakka containsÂ MDPV, a commonly abused cathinone and has similar effects on people as bath salts.
Flakka comes in crystalline rock form and can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or used in an e-cigarette and vaped. The duration of the effects of the drug can last as few as three to four hours, but can also linger for several days. It is highly addictive, both from a physical and aÂ psychological perspective.
Efforts to fight the new drug include the Fort Lauderdale Police Department creatingÂ a specialized task force loosely known as the â€œFlakka Initiativeâ€ to work with local agencies as well as the DEA, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, about the increasing use of the drug.
The Palm Beach County Substance Abuse Awareness Coalition is also launching a special website next month called dontbeaguineapig.com that will be an educational portal about the potential effects of using such designer drugs.