On the documentary series Intervention, the drug flakka is spotlighted. The synthetic drug is also known as gravel due to its appearances (white crystal chunks) and is compared to “bath salts” as they share a key ingredient (MDPV). But the chemicals in flakka have longer-lasting effects and flakka has the potential to be more dangerous than cocaine due to the extreme symptoms associated with it — including what the National Institute on Drug Abuse calls “excited delirium” (hallucinations, paranoia, and increased strength and hyperstimulation). One of the most disturbing cases of flakka use was reported by the Jupiter Police Department in Florida. A 19-year-old FSU student was high on flakka when he stabbed a couple in their home and “gnawed at the male victim’s face.” One dose of flakka in the US is sold for about $5. (One gram of cocaine sells for about $70.)
According to the Washington Post, after more than 60 deaths related to flakka, the drug has disappeared from South Florida. Experts say the disappearance is “the result of unprecedented coordination among local groups to fight flakka’s demand and — most importantly — the unusual willingness of the Chinese government to halt flakka’s production.” Intervention airs Tuesdays at 9pm on A&E.