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New Flakka (Alpha PVP) Video Has Police--Once Again--Referring to Users as "Zombies"

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    View attachment 45609 A video (click here) captured by the body cameras of two cops in southern Illinois last month reportedly shows a naked man, allegedly high on the drug flakka, violently thrashing around his home, flipping over furniture, banging into walls, yelling, and avoiding all attempts by police to subdue him.

    The two police officers used stun guns to try to get control of Stephen Berkeley, 51, whom they say was in a state of "excited delirium" caused by the drug — symptoms include agitation, anxiety, high body temperature, and hallucinations — and called for medical assistance, according to police chief William Southerd of Christopher, Illinois. But it was too late, Southerd said. Berkeley died of an overdose. An investigator at the scene noted the bruises on Berkeley's body and the two officers nearby, and said the death would have been suspicious if not for the body camera videos showing Berkeley's demeanor, Southerd said.

    "This video was like something I've never seen before," Southerd said. "The guy was completely going nuts in the bedroom, banging into walls, flipping things over. He completely tore the room up, and once they got him subdued he died. If it wasn't for the body cameras I'd probably have two officers in jail right now," he added. "Even our crime scene guys came in and said I've got a room completely torn up with bruises all over [the deceased], and two officers. I wouldn't know how to rule this."

    Southerd declined to share the video with VICE News, citing privacy concerns of Berkeley's family, but hopes to eventually secure its release and use it as an educational tool to alert legislators and school authorities to what he says is the growing threat of flakka, which he described as "bath salts on steroids."

    Flakka is a type of synthetic cathinone, just as bath salts are. On the death certificate issued by the Franklin County medical examiner, Berkeley's death was classified as "overdose by bath salts," showing the confusion law enforcement authorities currently face in trying to determine what new drugs they are seeing in their communities, as the makers of synthetic drugs continually change their chemical compositions. The medical examiner did not immediately answer questions from VICE News on which drug, exactly, was found in Berkeley's system. Southerd says that bath salts and synthetic marijuana — another manufactured drug with a continually-changing chemical make-up — have been around in his town, Christopher, for a few years now. Flakka just showed up two months ago, and he is worried about what he's seen. His first encounter with someone on the drug, he said, was a woman who went out onto her front lawn with a knife and began stabbing "at trees and at the air and at ghosts" before police could subdue her.

    "Synthetic marijuana's been bad for two years here, and in the state of Illinois right now it is a catch-up game. Every time they make an ingredient illegal that's in this, the Chinese — that's where it's coming from — already has another analogue to put in it," Southerd said. "It's worse than heroin, meth, all that," he went on. "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."

    Flakka is the street name for alphapyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP), according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and is mainly produced in China, where other synthetic drugs are coming from, and then distributed by dealers on the ground in the US for around $3 to $5 a dose. Unlike synthetic marijuana, flakka takes the form of crystals that can be snorted, injected, vaporized, or eaten, according to the institute. The epicenter of flakka use is Broward County, Florida, which has had 477 reported cases of flakka use in 2014. But the drug has begun to spread to other rural communities and small towns. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Georgia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Ohio all had high rates of flakka cases in 2013. Paul Faulk, the director of Broward County's Addiction Recovery Center, has witnessed the explosion of the drug first hand.

    "We started seeing the emergence of flakka back in September, 2014, and didn't know what it was but saw something different with the clients that were coming in," Faulk told VICE News. Faul said that the case load of flakka patients coming into the clinic has grown from one during September, 2014, to 40 to 50 a month now. In May, he joined local law enforcement officers and community outreach groups who held an emergency press conference warning drug users to stay away from flakka.

    "It's been a drain to our organization as far as resources go because they behave in a way we have never seen with drug or alcohol intake: much more aggressive, paranoid, very anxious, and that makes it very very difficult to treat them," he said. Faulk said that there is no quick way to detox flakka users except to sedate them until they "come back to reality," and that sometimes that can take 30 days or more.

    "Even after that period of 30 days they still exhibit symptoms of the drug or the brain or body's reaction to it," he said. "Colleagues in the community have said they still see erratic behavior with this community four to six months later. it all depends on the usage and the excited delirium, when the body is pretty much dying unless it gets medical intervention. We've been trying to protect our youth because that's where their targeting the drug right now," Faulk said, noting that it's cheap, looks like candy, and is frequently introduced to young people by its inclusion in other drugs. People want to just try marijuana or think they're getting molly but it's laced with flakka," he said. "It's extremely addictive. That's why dealers are putting it in other drugs. It produces a very strong high, it's very addictive, and many victims say this drug calls me like no other drug."

    Nearly all 50 states have at least some version of a ban on synthetic cathinones, according to the DEA, though changes in a drug's composition can sometimes be used to skirt the laws. Dr. Joseph Palamar, a researcher in population health and drug use at New York University Medical Center, said he is wary that some of the coverage flakka has gotten that portrays people as turning violent and out of control is overblown.

    "I think the media is focusing on outstanding cases involving flakka," he said. "Just like with synthetic marijuana, they're showing very strange cases, then the public thinks if you use flakka you're going to get crazy and break things down and maybe attack people. But they're only focusing on the strange cases," Palamar told VICE News. "I'm sure thousands and thousands of people have used flakka and didn't break into a police station."

    Palamar cautioned that individuals who lose control on flakka may already have psychological issues and be on psychiatric medications, and might be addicted to other drugs like crystal meth. But for others, using a synthetic drug like flakka that mimics the stimulating effects of methamphetamines might produce an effect "like a really strong Adderall" without causing a person to fly into a violent rage. But for Southerd and Faulk, who are working to combat flakka use on the ground, one violent rage is enough.

    "Back when meth hit it ruined a lot of people's lives, but this here is worse," Southerd said. "It's so addicting, and so easy to get, and so new that a lot of police agencies and state attorneys throughout southern Illinois don't know how to prosecute it, so there are people out here making good money off of it by selling it. It's so new, and it's so frustrating."



    By Colleen Curry - Vice/Aug. 17, 2015
    https://news.vice.com/article/police-are-freaking-out-over-drugged-up-flakka-zombies
    Newshawk Crew

    About Author

    Beenthere2Hippie
    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.

Comments

  1. Reclaimer
    Re: New Flakka (Alpha PVP) Video Has Police--Once Again--Referring to Users as "Zombi

    do people realize there buying / smoking this flakka crap when they do the drugs or is this a case of i was trying to buy such and such but got sold this and went bat shit bananas and cream pie?
  2. TheCrystallineCook
    Re: New Flakka (Alpha PVP) Video Has Police--Once Again--Referring to Users as "Zombi

    ^ Wtf are you saying?

    Great article Beenthere2hippie. Is that your legit DF occupation? Posting the most relevant and on point articles about drugs? Because you drop great drug articles with better regularity than my bowel movements. I commend you on your tireless searching for the most up to date and unbiased articles pertaining to drugs.

    With regard to the article, this "flakka" as it is known in the Southeast or "gravel" in the Midwest is, as correctly stated, alpha-PVP. It is distinct from your average cathinone analogue because of pentyl group at the alpha position of the side chain and a pyrrolidinyl ring substitution in place of the usual non-cyclic amino-alkane group. In plain English, this makes it potent as hell.

    Let's say I hypothetically demethylated pyrovalerone and managed to synthesize some alpha-PVP for personal consumption. Why I would do this? I wouldn't! Never!

    But like the doctor stated in the article, which I thought was very pertinent, the majority of users of pure alpha-PVP don't flip the fuck out. I didn't. After consuming about 15mg of alpha-PVP it was a very strong and euphoric dopamine and norepinephrine agonist, possibly reuptake inhibitor or maybe it works by blocking monoamine reuptake. But it is euphoric as all hell and definitely moreish. Bottom line is I smoked that shit for three days straight and not once did I lose sight of reality...I did, however, lose a lot of sleep.

    But I appreciated that someone with a medical degree would have the mental clarity and statistical logic to state what he did in this excerpt...

    "Dr. Joseph Palamar, a researcher in population health and drug use at New York University Medical Center, said he is wary that some of the coverage flakka has gotten that portrays people as turning violent and out of control is overblown.

    "I think the media is focusing on outstanding cases involving flakka," he said. "Just like with synthetic marijuana, they're showing very strange cases, then the public thinks if you use flakka you're going to get crazy and break things down and maybe attack people. But they're only focusing on the strange cases," Palamar told VICE News. "I'm sure thousands and thousands of people have used flakka and didn't break into a police station." "
  3. 25Love
    Re: New Flakka (Alpha PVP) Video Has Police--Once Again--Referring to Users as "Zombi

    Hm, can't lie, when someone writes that a drug "calls to [me] like no other," that makes me want to try it. But I've only heard bad things about Flakka. Not sure that I want to risk ending up on video behaving like that woman.
  4. TheCrystallineCook
    Re: New Flakka (Alpha PVP) Video Has Police--Once Again--Referring to Users as "Zombi

    ^It isn't all its cracked up to be. A lot of unpleasant side effects go along with the euphoria and empathogenic aspect. It has a very short duration, relatively speaking, of about 3 hours followed by another 3 hours of restlessness and hypertension. After that three days, the comedown was horrendous.

    If I hadn't utilized an adrenergic blocker throughout my experiment with it, more than likely I wouldn't have found it to be nearly as enjoyable as I did.

    Would I revisit this compound ever again? Hell no. There are far better substances out there to use with safer side effect profiles and a much cleaner high.

    So you aren't missing out on anything all that spectacular. Mine was pure crystal. The stuff they are peddling on the streets is synthesized in some dingy laboratory in China and then sent over to the US where it experiences lesser and lesser degrees of sterilization/purity the further it gets down the supply chain.
  5. malsat
    Re: New Flakka (Alpha PVP) Video Has Police--Once Again--Referring to Users as "Zombi

    I tried a-PVP once back in December. Must have bought half a gram or a full gram of the stuff. It was like a worse version of MDPV. It was one of the most compulsive drugs I've ever taken. I started out with a milligram scale and a project I 'needed motivation to work on'. I was paranoid delusional in less than 12 hours. I used it for 3 or 4 days, getting crazier and crazier each day, until I finally poured the remaining crystals down the toilet. Not because I realised it was bad news, but because I was hallucinating that I was about to be raided by the cops. For like the 3rd time that week. At one point I had been hiding underneath my duvet, terrified that the voices would notice me doing another line, and I was literally just putting crystals in my mouth straight from the bag.

    It was less euphoric than MDPV (or at least, Ivory Wave, which I abused for 6 weeks back in 2010), less empathogenic, harder on the body, more rapidly lead to paranoia, delusions and full blown hallucinations and yet was somehow more compulsive.

    After my final day of being completely insane and sucking on crystals under a duvet while the voices talked about how they were going to mess me up, after I had torn up my flat looking for the drugs the voices claimed to have planted in advance of the police raid, as I finally calmed down and returned to reality and realised how crazy I was, I still scoured my bed for stray crystals and licked the hardcover books I had used to crush crystals and cut lines when I had first started - I craved it that badly. I even thought of buying more. In fact even writing about it now is making me crave it a little bit, and miss in my heart my six weeks of being a spun out crazy bath salts junkie.

    One of the most horrible drugs I have ever been foolish enough to take.
  6. TheCrystallineCook
    Re: New Flakka (Alpha PVP) Video Has Police--Once Again--Referring to Users as "Zombi

    ^ malsat, that is a very great description of your experience with alpha-PVP. Although that entire experience sounded nothing short of bizarre and extremely stressful, the colorful descriptions that you gave made me laugh a little bit.

    I mean, that is some crazy shit. I find that to be the common theme amongst alpha-PVP addicts, that the urge to redoes is quite literally irresistible. That regardless of how out of control any given day of their lives are that they have used it, they continue to return to it.

    I live in a region of the US that has yet to see alpha-PVP on the streets. As already mentioned, I only obtained it through a hypothetical reaction that never took place with pyrovalerone just to see what all the buzz was about.

    I had the fortune to have not incurred full blown hallucinations of any kind but I did at times feel like I was being watched and did my fair share of "window peaking." But I always managed to retain my ability to differentiate between drug side effect and reality. I didn't mention earlier, but I took adrenergic blockers along with some benzodiazepines which is most likely - almost certainly - why after three days I had not convinced myself that the hydrofluoric acid in my lab was a refreshing beverage.

    Malsat, I'm curious...while you were in this delusional, hallucinating state did you still feel additional euphoria from the lines? I know it might be difficult to determine what you were or weren't getting out of continuing to use while in the midst of psychosis, but what did you feel was causing you to continue to consuming it despite such frightening symptoms?

    Also, before you reached that 12 hour mark - during the time you still had your sanity - how often were you re-dosing? Did you feel like you really really loved it and it was also a drug that caused you to dose compulsively? Or did you feel like it was overall great, but also was giving you some undesirable side effects but despite this, you just couldn't hold back from doing more?

    Because the latter is how I felt. In my three day experience I both sniffed it (first day) and tried vaping it (second day) which finally progressed to such inhibition that I did some intravenously (on the third, and final day).

    Part of why I kept re-dosing was because after the primary effects were over, the crash was horrendous. Like yourself, although with a rational mind, I threw the rest in the toilet. Within less than 30 min afterward, I got this feeling of regret and despair so profound that you would have thought I just lost a beloved family member.

    I found myself trying almost create a magical procedure to get it back out of the toilet while knowing full well this was not a possibility. I never tried MDPV, and I am thankful for that. That was yet another drug that a) never really got sold in my area and b) I truly had no desire to fuck with it.

    Well, I decided to fuck with one that is allegedly even worse instead. Man, help me understand what would make a drug generate such a compulsion to re-dose that it actually seems to increase as the fun decreases.

    Any thoughts?
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