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Two New Drugs Disguised by E-cigs in Florida

Author: Justin Mckibben

Two new drugs have hit the streets in South Florida, and both of them have at least two things in common. First, they both are reported to have very dangerous and deadly side effects. Second, they are both being used in e-cigarettes while being sold as a ‘safer alternative’ to smoking tobacco.

E-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’ have already gotten attention in other areas of the country as well for being used to disguise harmful chemical compounds being made for the purpose of getting high. Here in Florida, it seems two in particular are making waves.

First Look at Flakka

First there is a synthetic drug out there that goes by street names like ‘Flakka’ or ‘a-PVP’ and so far reports suggest that this drug is a dangerous and unpredictable one. Authorities state this is the latest form of ‘bath salts’ to hit the area. The Broward Sheriff’s Office crime lab reports to have seen more than 100 cases where submitted materials have tested positive for alpha-PVP between February and October of last year.

Narcotics detectives so far have said that ‘Flakka’ tends to look like a cross between crack cocaine and meth, with a unique and distinctively foul smell.

Officially have gone on to expand on the methods users have been using to take the drug including:

  • Smoking
  • Snorting
  • Injecting
  • Ingesting

This potentially deadly drug is used to create a feeling of euphoria, but that users also report to have experienced hallucinations, and some speculate it can even cause psychosis. The high usually wears off after a couple of hours, and Pettit said the urge to re-dose is very intense.

Narcotics detectives from St. Lucie stated that they were aware of the existence of Flakka, and that they had observed the drug recently gaining a foothold in Broward County, but had not seen Flakka locally until a recent call about a disturbance a couple of weeks ago at a night club in the Ft. Pierce area. When the responding deputies arrived they had ended up arresting a man involved in the disturbance, and upon searching the individual they discovered he was in possession of Flakka.

So far authorities claim that it is unknown at this time if Flakka being found in Ft. Pierce was just an isolated incident, or if it’s starting to gain a foothold on the Treasure Coast as well.

Bad News Budder

Another newly popular synthetic drug to make waves in Florida is referred to as ‘butane hash oil’ or ‘marijuana wax’ while going by street names like ‘Budder.’ It is a described as a gooey substance made in grow-houses using a highly unstable process that requires soaking the leaves and stems of marijuana plants in a chemical solvent like butane in order to extract the most concentrated ingredients for inducing a high.

Crime labs in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties have all reported seeing multiple cases of Budder showing up in recent months. At this point the exact number of cases are not being tracked because the drug is still fairly new, and because it ultimately tests as a marijuana product. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Teri Barbera has made a statement saying,

“[Budder] is gaining in popularity and is very potent with a high THC level. It is very dangerous and explosive to produce.”

On May 6 2014 around 5 a.m. there was an explosion that shook a west Boca Raton neighborhood, blowing out the windows in a grow-house and waking up the neighborhood. Law enforcement sources were able to confirm the explosion has been linked to the grow-house’s Budder operation.

The Boca explosion caused a lot of attention from law enforcement locally, and shortly after officials say they started hearing about other cases. Due to these dangerous circumstances area police officers are now approaching grow-house raids across the board with the same precautions used to raid meth labs.

Budder grow-houses are not the only concern present in the situation, and users should be acutely aware as authorities have stated the waxy material is more potent and more toxic than marijuana. Budder can cause several hazardous side-effects, such as:

  • Severe hallucinations
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Heart problems

With these two substances being expected to be drugs with such dangerous side-effects, it is no wonder that local law enforcement urging the public to be cautious. With Budder being sold as an easy way to use marijuana, and Flakka being a synthetic substance in a new wave of drug dealers creating ‘legal’ chemical concoctions by using substances that have yet to be banned, the police say this is another reason they must do everything in their power to keep up with the changing drug trends. Many law enforcement officials are avid about the problem, and say that with the existence and popularity of e-cigarettes we will continue to see dangerous synthetics being sold as something else entirely.

The illicit drugs we know and the synthetic ones that are constantly reformulated and re-labeled all pose a serious threat. Some of these substances are sold as ‘legal’ highs, but do NOT be fooled. These are said to also be some of the most dangerous. In the end a drug is a drug, and no matter what kind it is, it is not worth a life. If you or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135

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