Officials warn against flakka drug linked to overdoses

Flakka, also known as gravel, causes a high similar to cocaine. Side effects include hallucinations and paranoia coupled with aggression and violence.

Flakka, also known as gravel, causes a high similar to cocaine. Side effects include hallucinations and paranoia coupled with aggression and violence. (6/3/15)

WOODBURY - Suffolk County health officials are issuing a warning about the dangers of flakka - a man-made drug that is a more powerful version of bath salts.

Flakka, also known as gravel, causes a high similar to cocaine. Side effects include hallucinations and paranoia coupled with aggression and violence.

Officials say the drug has been implicated in 300 overdoses and 10 deaths in southern Florida. They say it's quickly making its way up to Long Island.

"Our concern with flakka is that it seems to be a lot more potent. It lasts a lot longer and it has quicker and faster, permanent side effects," said Legislator William Spencer (D - Centerport).

Some people who have taken flakka have suffered kidney failure and dangerously high body temperatures.

Flakka's appeal is that it's cheap at $5 a dose. It's long-lasting with highs up to three days.

The bulk of flakka comes from China and is sold through the Internet. Suffolk officials and addiction experts are urging parents to be vigilant.

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