A new drug that causes bizarre, unpredictable behavior, including violent outbursts and "superhuman" strength, has begun to move into Georgia.
The drug is called flakka and people have already nicknamed it the “$5 fantasy drug.”
Flakka can be snorted, smoked or swallowed and has been rampant throughout Florida since 2014. Now, the drug has crossed the border into the southern parts of Georgia.
According to Valdosta police, in November 2014 there were only one or two cases involving Flakka. Now Police Chief Brian Childress says his officers have been dealing with flakka users almost daily.
Childress shared videos with WSBTV showing several encounters with flakka users.
In one video, a man is shown repeatedly cutting his own arms and neck. In another, a different man accuses police of not actually being real officers.
Valdosta Police Sgt. Heather Willis said she has had several experiences with flakka users herself.
“This is a threat to the community,” Willis said. “[Users] run out into traffic. They’re thinking people are after them. And if you try to give them help, sometimes they’re going to become resistant and fight you.”
“They’re totally delusional,” Childress said. “Then it increases their physical ability two or three times.”
Childress told WSBTV that flakka showed up in Valdosta in August and caught the entire department off guard. He says that the drug is cheap, highly addictive and profitable.
Flakka is made from alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone, which is a variation of the chemicals used in the drug called bath salts.
“If you increase the dosage just slightly, it’s a game-changer,” Childress said. “You’re going from a high to an out-of-control maniac.”
Childress had to personally confront the man who was filmed cutting himself with high on flakka. He had to use a stun gun to protect himself and other officers from the man.
“I’ve been in law enforcement since 1988 and that’s one of the scariest things I’ve seen in my life,” Childress said.