WILLOW GROVE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new wave of a deadly designer drug is hitting the streets of South Florida and is making its way across the country to several other major cities. “Flakka” or Alpha-PVP is a synthetic cathinone stimulant drug that has become widely popular because of its low cost and intense effects. Users can get a powerful high for as little as $5. However, Flakka comes with some dangerous side-effects resulting in synthetic drug hospitalizations and even a number of deaths.
Flakka’s main ingredient, Alpha-PVP, is a compound that belongs to a group of drugs called synthetic cathinones, often labeled and sold as “bath salts” in an effort to hide their true purpose. Bath salts can be snorted, smoked, swallowed, or injected, and users experience a wide array of reactions including dangerously heightened body temperatures, increased heart rate, paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, combative behaviors, and the feeling of invincibility.
Several subjects in Florida have ended up in confrontations with police while under the influence of the drug. Chicago is now starting to feel the effects of a Flakka saturated drug market. According to a report by CBS News, a man from one of Chicago’s suburbs experienced a psychotic break and ran around his neighborhood naked after unknowingly ingesting Flakka. He blacked out and claimed to have no recollection of the event or the following two days after. With a flood of similar stories coming from several states, the DEA placed Alpha-PVP as well as nine other synthetic cathinones as Schedule I Controlled Substances in March of last year. However, this legislation has done little to slow the amount of drugs being imported into the United States. In addition, many products sold as Flakka actually contain other drugs, causing users to overdose or experience serious toxic effects.
NMS Labs has been following the trend of Alpha-PVP and other synthetic cathinones since their appearance in the United States. Supported by their annual designer drugs trends report, they have watched Alpha-PVP, along with methylone and ethylone quickly take the lead as most used compounds found in the synthetic cathinone category. To help raise awareness about Alpha-PVP and other novel psychoactive substances, NMS Labs forensic toxicologist Donna Papsun will be hosting a free webinar on Monday, June 1st at 1pm. The webinar is entitled, “Flakka”: The Truth behind the Latest Designer Drug Media Storm, and registration can be completed here.
About NMS Labs:
NMS Labs is an international forensic and clinical reference laboratory that is unsurpassed in its scope of toxicology tests, accuracy of results, scientific expertise, and innovation. Dedicated to staying ahead of the curve for this new class of drugs, The NMS Labs Designer Drug Strategy Team was created in 2011. This team has consistently tracked the changing synthetic cannabinoid market, identifying novel and emerging drugs and anticipating the most popular new substances. NMS Labs is passionate about promoting public health and safety. For more information on NMS Labs, please visit www.nmslabs.com.