Media reports suggest the drug is already circulating and being sold on the streets in Wentworth, Chatsworth and Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal.
In an interview with IOL, the Director of Sanca in Durban, Walter Petersen, says flakka, also known as “bath baths” or “gravel”, was a cathinone that was first synthesised decades ago.
“Sometimes, drugs make a resurgence after several years and come back stronger than before. That appears to be what’s happening with Flakka,” he was quoted as saying.
He explains to the publication that the drug was a powerful upper and that its use could lead to paranoia and delirium.
“It tends to be cheaper than cocaine and you can buy it online, which makes it more easily accessible,” he said.
Flakka is reportedly associated with mental disturbances, which could make treatment extremely challenging.
The drug is currently sweeping the streets of Australia and the USA and it is believed that it has made its way to Durban.
Hundreds of videos about this drug have surfaced on social media, showing users in a state of panic, unable to talk or understand what is going on around them.
The Daily News reported that in Chatsworth, three men were taken to hospital after taking flakka.
It has been alleged that one of the men attacked a woman, biting off a chunk of her arm, while another is reported to have suffered heart failure, with his heartbeat returning a short while later.
It apparently took five days for the drugs to be fully flushed out of their systems.
Sam Pillay, founder and Director of Anti-Drug Forum SA, told TimesLive that it was devastating that flakka was now being sold in Durban.
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“This drug has caused so much damage in other parts of the world and now it is here. These users had almost demonic-like behaviour and it took about six men to restrain just one person. This drug has been called the ‘gateway to hell’ because of the actions of the user. It is like they have superhuman strength,” he was quoted as saying.
Pillay said people should not be encouraged to experiment with it, because it can be very dangerous to them and people around them.
Flakka is reportedly priced from R400 to R1 000.
Sources: IOL and TimesLive