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Speculation flakka is behind Qld overdoses

AAP logoAAP 16/10/2016 Jamie McKinnell

WHAT IS FLAKKA?

Flakka is a synthetic designer drug behind a number of incidents in the US. Toxicology reports have not confirmed whether it is also responsible for the weekend's mass overdose on the Gold Coast, however police say the patients displayed similar adverse reactions to previous cases involving flakka.

NICKNAMES:

Gravel, niff, bath salts.

APPEARANCE:

Resembling gravel, flakka comes in white or pink crystalline rock form.

CHEMICAL MAKE UP:

It is a stimulant made from alpha-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone, or alpha-PVP. It is an amphetamine-like derivative of the drug cathinone.

HOW DO YOU TAKE IT?

The substance is commonly swallowed, however it can also be smoked, snorted, injected, or vaporised.

EFFECTS:

Psychoactive symptoms similar to methamphetamine and ecstasy. Users most commonly experience severe hallucinations and aggression, but have also reported euphoria, elevated body temperature and heart rate, jaw clenching, vomiting and dilated pupils.

HOW LONG DOES IT LAST?

Anecdotal evidence suggests users are affected for three to four hours, however some symptoms linger for days. Users can develop a dependence and tolerance.

Source: Australian Alcohol and Drug Foundation

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