Dangerous ‘Insanity Drug’ Showing Up in New Jersey
A new synthetic drug described as dangerous and unpredictable is starting to show up in parts of the tri-state region.
Flakka has been dubbed "the insanity drug" because some users exhibit bizarre and violent behavior, like impaling themselves on fences, running naked in the streets to escape from demons and attacking people at random.
Drug experts say Flakka may also give users amphetamine-like highs similar to the club drug Ecstasy, but the effects vary widely.
According to Angela Conover, the media director for the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey, this is hardly surprising.
"We don't know what's going in to make this drug, users aren't aware of exactly what they're taking; there's no way of knowing what's in the synthetic drugs that young people, or anyone might be trying. They're just created, there's no medical purpose for them," Conover said.
She said Flakka and other designer drugs that being called "psychoactive substances," can be extremely dangerous.
"They can cause severe behavioral changes, your body can reach extreme temperatures, you can have complications like kidney damage and your behavior is impacted. You don't know what is going to happen, you could have extreme anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations," she said.
According to Conover, many times the name of a designer drug changes, but the chemical composition may be only altered slightly from some other drug.
"So for example, the active ingredients that were in bath salts were banned, but now there's new active ingredients that are used in different types of synthetic drugs that are out there," she said.
Conover said whether these drugs are snorted, injected or smoked they can be very risky.
"The best way to get in front of this is to just raise awareness about the fact that these synthetic drugs are out there and just how dangerous they can be," she said.
Authorities say Flakka is being mass produced in China and Mexico, as well as in parts of the United States and it's being brought in and distributed in all areas of the country.