Doctors warn of dangerous new street drug, 'flakka'

The North Texas Poison Control Center at Parkland Hospital is warning about a new synthetic drug that has made its way into Texas.

The drug, known as "flakka," is similar to bath salts and has very disturbing side effects that can lead to death. 

It has the street name of "gravel" because that's what it looks like. It's cheap and legal is some states.

Dr. Stacey Hail works in the North Texas Poison Control Center at Parkland. As an emergency room doctor, she's seen firsthand the effects of mind-altering drugs.

Following a FOX report on baths salts in 2011, Dr. Hail was called to testify before the legislature to help ban the synthetic drug in Texas. 

Hail says flakka is like bath salts but could be even more dangerous.

"Patients that are high on these types of drugs can exert themselves in ways that are not normal for the human body to exert themselves, and they will frequently die when they are in custody," she said.

A Florida video shows a man banging and kicking, trying to get into the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. Cops say he smoked flakka and was hallucinating that dozens of cars were chasing him.

Police say he threw rocks so hard at the doors, it cracked the bulletproof glass.

"They become extremely violent, extremely difficult to control, have super human strength, but they're not just a danger to themselves; they're a danger to police officers and first responders," said Hail.

Hail says the Drug Enforcement Administration has a temporary ban on the drug, and so far, there are no reports of it being in North Texas, but it is still out there.

"It's only a matter of time before these new designer drugs or these new synthetic analogs find their way to cities like Dallas, and we've already had reports of them in Austin and Houston," said Hail.

Hail says the drug is made in China and Pakistan, and since it's a designer drug, a toxicology screen test would not even detect it.


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