You might have heard the name or already heard all kinds of shocking stories about Flakka – The ‘Zombie’ Drug.
It’s not yet a popular drug in South Africa, and not many can be familiar with the danger of the drug or what it looks like. The drug is more popular in the streets of Australia and U.S, and reports have recently revealed that it has surfaced locally – in the streets of Durban.
About the Drug
Flakka is a designer drug that can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed and looks like bath salts. The drug causes panic and hysteria once in your system and has become so popular among students and adults.
If you thought it couldn’t do more damage, you will be shocked to know the drug has been described as 10 times more powerful than coke.
But the exhilaration caused by flakka is actually significantly more potent than one would feel from a naturally derived drug like cocaine, said Dr. Indra Cidambi, addiction medicine expert and founder/medical director of Center for Network Therapy. “The high is pretty high and getting off takes longer,” Cidambi said. Several days even.
The effects and how dangerous it is
The effects of having the drug in your system are what makes it more dangerous. On its own, the drug can raise your body temperature up to 104 degrees, leading to kidney damage or kidney failure, and even death.
The synthetic drug can also elevate your blood pressure, which can cause a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, or heart failure.
It is not surprising to see all the shocking videos and stories on the net when you research about this drug. You will see people biting others, slamming themselves into objects, screaming, yelling and all sorts of reactions that will convince that a person has gone mad.
Flakka users will experience what the National Institute on Drug Abuse calls “excited delirium”: a debated condition involving hallucinations, paranoia, increased strength and hyperstimulation. Your heart will race. You will have panic attacks. Your sex drive will plummet. You may become depressed and suicidal. And like Harrouff, you could become extremely psychotic and violent.
When using the drug for long-term, side effects are renal failure and depression.
Flakka in South Africa..
Earlier this month, a report by IOL revealed that three men were hospitalized in Chatsworth after taking the drug.
It is alleged that one of the men attacked a woman, biting off a chunk of her arm. Another is reported to have suffered heart failure, with his heartbeat returning a short while later.
“The men were restrained and taken to hospital. At the hospital, they were not aware of what was going around them. They were strapped in the hospital beds but were asking nurses which fruit they must pick from the trees,” the source said.
After an investigation by the police, they were able to arrest the suspected dealer, 32-year-old Chikudipidia Steven Nwose.
Sam Pillay of the Anti-Drug Forum told IOL that it was devastating that flakka is being sold in Durban.
“This drug has caused so much damage in other parts of the world and now it is here. These users had almost demonic-like behaviour and it took about six men to restrain just one person. This drug has been called the ‘gateway to hell’ because of the actions of the user. It is like they have superhuman strength,” he said.
According to the report, Flakka is being sold at a price range of R400 to R1 000.