Easy to get hooked on dangerous 'flakka' drug, warns poison expert

The emerging 'flakka' drug is a highly-addictive psychomotor stimulant, a poison expert has warned.

Read: New drug known as 'flakka' hits Durban

Carine Marks, Director of the Tygerberg Poison Information Centre, says the drug is much cheaper than other popular illegal substances.

While Flakka is not a brand new drug, it is new to the shores of South Africa.

The synthetic stimulant substance is scientifically known as alpha-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone (or alpha-PVP), Marks explains.

Also read: Parental vigilance essential in averting drug-addicted kids, psychologist says

Its other street names are 'gravel', 'bath salts' or 'zombie' drug.

The pink white crystal can be eaten, injected and vaporised to achieve a sharp high.

Marks warns that the inhalation of the drug can quickly lead to an overdose.

Flakka is a man-made designer drug, it's not from a natural source.

Carine Marks, Director of Tygerberg Poison Information Centre

It stimulates the brain and hijacks the pathways of reward.

Carine Marks, Director of Tygerberg Poison Information Centre

The user has an intense feeling of euphoria and an unusual amount of energy.

Carine Marks, Director of Tygerberg Poison Information Centre

It's extremely additive.

Carine Marks, Director of Tygerberg Poison Information Centre

Listen to Carine Marks explain the emergence of the drug:


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