Though bath salts got all the media shine from roughly 2012 to 2014, flakka is very clearly the victor in 2015. Having already overtaken cocaine as the new king of Florida, the synthetic substance is now spreading, without prejudice, to less obvious areas of the country. Known by
some absolutely no one as alphapyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP), the drug is currently inadvertently exposing the lack of drug knowledge possessed by many police officers around the United States.
The usual impact on a flakka user, as shown in the clip above of an unidentified woman experiencing a full-on freakout before being assisted by local officials, is know being described by officers as zombie-like. "It's worse than heroin, meth, all that," William Southerd, a police chief from Illinois, tellsVICE. "The reaction, the best way I can describe it is, the terms my officers used is that you're dealing with a bunch of zombies, they're just completely out of their mind."
Southerd speaks from experience, as the body cameras of officers in southern Illinois recently captured the violent reaction of a naked 51-year-old man experiencing "excited delirium" after ingesting flakka. The man eventually died, prompting the hesitance of the department to release the body camera footage. However, Southerd hopes to soon use the footage as an educational tool in training officers as to what to expect when dealing with flakka users. Clearly, both officers and medical examiners need the additional training, as the death certificate for the 51-year-old man listed the cause of death as "overdose by bath salts."
Thanks again, Florida.