Experts are puzzled as to why Broward County has emerged as an epicenter for a volatile and unpredictable synthetic stimulant known as flakka. Also known as alpha- PVP, flakka’s prevalence may be a response to the void created by recent crackdowns on pill mills in the area, becoming a cheap substitute for more expensive drugs previously peddled in the prescription pill trade.
Flakka use delivers an intense high that can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and which causes body temperature spikes, delirium, paranoid psychosis, and combativeness, and may also come with other side effects like lingering depression and suicidal thoughts. Many who have died from flakka intoxication have suffered complete shutdown of body functions, internal bleeding, and multi-organ failure caused by elevated body temperatures.
Fifty five percent of the state’s total of 870 flakka cases last year can be attributed to Broward County alone.
So far, there have been 477 cases of flakka confiscation, amounting to a rate of 27 cases per 100,000 residents in Broward County. No other county came close to this number, with Chicago’s Cook County accounting for 212 cases. With a total population of 1.8 million residents, Broward County’s rate of flakka cases has far outpaced all other major urban counties.
South Florida has held a reputation for the emergence and widespread prevalence of many disturbing drug trends, including cocaine and oxycodone. Flakka is the newest designer drug on the market, and its popularity can be attributed to how easy it is to obtain and how inexpensively it can be sold. Although the drug is illegal to buy and a permanent ban is pending, drug dealers can still easily purchase flakka from overseas labs and pharmaceutical companies in China. The drug is sold for $3 to $5 a hit, and because it is so cheap, it has become rampant within the homeless community.
Further studies will shed more light on what Ralph Page, the director of Broward County Crime Stoppers, calls a “very strange phenomena.”
The Miami drug crimes lawyers at Hager & Schwartz, P.A. represent individuals throughout the state of Florida who are facing drug charges. For an initial and confidential case evaluation, contact our criminal defense firm to discuss your legal options and choose the best course of action.