POLOKWANE – As drugs don’t follow rules, Sanca employees have to constantly keep up with the latest trends in drugs and other substance abuse.
With this in mind Sanca Director Amanda Swart spoke to Review on something that according to Sanca is not yet found in Polokwane but may show it’s ugly head one of these days.
The new drug craze called Flakka is something resembling aquarium gravel. Flakka is a synthetic psychoactive drug that is structurally related to cathinone.
Flakka comes as a white or pink crystal that you can snort, eat, inject or even vape.
Flakka is a chemical compound originally synthesised in the 1960s. It is known as next generation ‘bath salts’, a group of related synthetic drugs that was banned in 2012.
Just like ‘bath salts’, the substance is packaged inconspicuously in plastic bags or vials which are labelled ‘not for human consumption’. You can buy it online or off the street,
Swart says the reason it has become popular is that it simulates the effects of cocaine and methamphetamines without the high financial cost and it has been reported to be 10 times more powerful than cocaine.
“Initially, it gives the user a euphoric high but continued use leads to delirium. Hallucinations, paranoia and even increased strength are experienced. Panic attacks, depression, violence, psychosis, suicide and death are associated with overdose. It is very dangerous and we would like to make people attend on this and ask them to help in the detection and prevention of this drug on the streets of the city,” Swart told Review.
She adds that Flakka also increases body temperature and blood pressure which medically can cause kidney damage, a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm and even heart failure.
“Police and paramedics are needed to subdue or treat users. People have been reported to become very aggressive and behave animal like. People need to know that this is real and that people die from using this drug,” she said.
She also added that people need to know what the symptoms of the usage of this drug is and that they include extreme agitation, jerking muscle movements, delirious thoughts and paranoia.
They can also be visited at 33 Church street.