ROYAL OAK (WWJ) - A cheap new designer drug making its away across the country — with one case reported in Michigan — is leading to bizarre and violent reactions.
Beaumont Health Emergency Doctor Jamie Hope says Flakka is "incredibly dangerous" and can cause psychotic breakdowns, hallucinations, extreme violence toward oneself or others and an extreme increase in body temperature.
"First the patient will start taking off their clothes — so you see a crazy, hallucinating person running around naked — but the rise in temperature can actually lead to death, it can be so severe," Hope said.
"It has also been known to cause problems with heart attacks and long-term injuries, if the person survives the initial drug...kidney damage and even kidney failure."
Hope said that, while only one case has been recorded in Michigan so far, there could be many more.
"The problem with these drugs is that there is not a specific test," Hope told WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites. "Where we can test a patient for something like marijuana or cocaine, these synthetic drugs are changing so rapidly that you can't test for it."
CBS News reports the drug has also been found in Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Kentucky, California and Florida.
In June, an 82-year-old great-grandmother died weeks after being randomly attacked in her Riviera Beach, Florida, home by a man who police say was high on Flakka; and CBS Miami reports a man impaled himself on a police station fence while on the drug.
A Chicago-area man said he doesn't remember what he did for two days after taking Flakka. "I was completely out of my mind. I could have killed somebody. I could have killed myself," Mike Haney said.
Hope says Flakka, sometimes known as gravel, looks like bath salts.
Users smoke, swallow or inject the drug which is reportedly sold for as little as $5 per dose.
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