In recent years, Florida has garnered a reputation as a hub for serious, and large-scale drug production and trafficking. The most recent production to come out of south Florida has taken this reputation to new heights.
Flakka, a member of the amphetamine family, has been equated with the now infamous ‘bath salts’. The two substances have close compositional profiles as well as having very similar affects on the individual. Flakka can be consumed through various means, including injection, ingestion, smoking, or snorting.
The seriousness of flakka comes from its influence on the individual’s behavior and mental state. Many of those who have used flakka have reported hallucinations, violent tendencies and paranoia. There have also been a number of criminal activities in south Florida linked with the drug, including assault and serious vandalism. Those abusing flakka are also reported to be at serious risk of personal harm, both physical and psychological.
Concern has risen over the affordability of flakka throughout south Florida, with many paying no more that $5 per transaction. The drug has also seen a drastic increase in availability in recent months, with the US Drug Enforcement Administration reporting a 780% increase from 2012 to 2015.
Due to the new and unique composition of flakka, a compound used in its production, alpha-PVP, currently has no legal restrictions in the south Florida area. This means that flakka production in south Florida, or anywhere in the US, remains legal, without direct legislation.