Health Services

Warning About Flakka

Warning about Flakka

New Synthetic Drug Can be Lethal

The Suffolk County Board of Health in conjunction with the Suffolk County Department of Health Services is issuing an urgent warning to parents about a newly synthesized drug known as Flakka or gravel.

Flakka is similar to a group of drugs commonly known as bath salts. It is often sold over the internet and shipped through the mail. Flakka has been labeled a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, (DEA). Schedule 1 drugs are among the most dangerous and pose the highest risk for abuse and dependence.

Currently, Flakka has been seen predominantly in southern Florida, where over 300 overdoses and 10 deaths have been reported. It is slowly making its way into other areas of the country.

Flakka can be eaten, snorted, injected, or smoked in an electronic cigarette without detection of an odor. Its physical appearance resembles grains of sand, salt, or gravel. The effect on the brain and central nervous system is profound and, in some cases, irreversible, leading to death. Flakka has been referred to as “instant insanity" with bizarre behavior, stripping off one's clothing, running around wildly, and exhibiting inordinate physical strength.

The drug causes a rapid rise in body temperature sometimes reaching 106 degrees. Victims have been known to rip off their clothing.. The exceptionally rapid, pervasive, and total impact on the many organs and systems of the body, results in multiple organ failure. Seizures, severe disorientation, anxiety, agitation, delirium, hallucinations, paranoia, psychosis, heightened awareness, feelings of extreme strength, increased blood pressure and heart rate have been reported. The extreme strength exhibited by those who have used Flakka has often required victims to be subdued by force.

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