A Glimpse into the 21st Century
Synthetic Drug from China Surging In Florida

A new illegal drug is gaining in popularity, and in some places has surpassed cocaine in volumes seized by local police departments this year. Reuters has more:

Unlike cocaine, flakka, is both cheap and accessible. The drug is widely advertised for sale online by Chinese companies and can be shipped in large quantities to U.S. addresses by established global delivery companies. Once it hits the streets, a single dose can sell for as little as $5.

Flakka, which was placed on the U.S. list of illegal controlled substances in 2014, is chemically designed to mimic cathinone, a natural stimulant found in the leaves of the khat plant, chewed traditionally in the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.

It gets its nickname from the Spanish slang for a slender and attractive woman, and is similar to ecstasy or MDMA, and so-called “Molly.” It is sold as small clear crystals that can be popped in the mouth or smoked.

Users are said to feel a sense of super human strength and delirium.

Though the drug has shown up in Ohio, Houston and Chicago, its popularity is surging in South Florida. It is enough of a concern that the issue has been brought up in discussions with Chinese officials.

With the rise of biotechnology, expect to see many synthetic stimulants and other pleasure drugs in the new century, many more powerful and perhaps more addictive than those we have known. Expect them to be discovered in many different countries and to be manufactured in many different places and distributed through many different channels.

And also expect that the toll in human life and happiness will be significant.

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