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Dangerous synthetic drug appears in Taney County, Missouri

It’s not a new drug, but a synthetic bath salt has appeared on the scene near Branson, Missouri.

Doctors at both Boone Hospital and the University of Missouri Hospital haven’t treated anyone who have used flakka, a drug that gives users what they call a terrifying high.

Dr. Chadd Kraus, with the University of Missouri, treated patients who had taken the street drug flakka back in Pennsylvania. It’s most notably dangerously popular in southern Florida.

“Certainly those patients that I have seen in the past come in very agitated, very paranoid, frequently hallucinating,” he said. “Many of them take their clothing off as well, and the reason for that is these drugs increase your body temperature.”

It’s not a high users enjoy, he said, but it’s one that’s highly addictive so they keep going back.

Patients and users also commit dangerous acts while on the drug.

“They cause people to do things that they otherwise wouldn’t do such as run into traffic,” said Kraus.

Flakka use was recently linked to a murder case in south Florida in which a Florida State University student stabbed a married couple to death and then gnawed on the male victim’s face just last week. Doctors believe he could have been on a hallucinogen similar to flakka.

Flakka, or also known as “gravel” because it resembles the rocks on the bottom of fish tanks, is primarily manufactured in China. It’s cheap and easy to get.

“They’re very low cost drugs that are only $5 or $10 on the street to get a hold of,” said Kraus. “I think with the ease of getting them on the internet from China in the past five or six years, they were really a big item.”

Just in the past few years, and at the height of the bath salt popularity, the U.S. banned all drugs that contain the pharmaceutical chemical alpha-PVP, an ingredient in bath salts.

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