New synthetic drug more potent, addictive than previous versions

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NEW YORK (NBC News) – Experts say a new designer drug is even more potent and more addictive than the synthetic versions before it.

On the streets, it is known as “gravel” but officials say “flakka” is a stimulant that is part of a chemical class called cathinones.

It has also been labeled “the insanity drug” for its amphetamine-like effects of ‘molly’ and ‘ecstasy.’

“This is bad stuff,” said James Hall, co-director of the Center for the Study and Prevention of Substance Abuse at Nova Southeastern University. “The biggest danger is these are guinea pig drugs and the users are like lab rats.”

In high doses, ‘flakka’ can cause an “excited delirium,” which results in the user’s body temperature rising to as high as 105 degrees.

It can also lead to heart problems and life-threatening kidney failure.

‘Flakka’ is often mixed with meth and can be crushed, snorted, swallowed or injected.

“Just a little delivers the high effect. It produces energy to dance and euphoria. But just a little more- and you can’t tell by looking at the capsule or baggie,” said Hall.

Experts are becoming increasingly concerned about ‘flakka’ because of its cheap price. They say a dose only costs about $5.

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