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Synthetic Drug Flakka Flooding South Florida Streets

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BROWARD (CBSMiami) – It's so cheap, drug dealers are practically giving it away.

Mike Haney was on his way home from work one day when he encountered it.

"I bought a cigarette from a guy at the bus stop for a dollar. And I didn't think nothing of it. When it lit it was a little dry. It tasted very stale," Haney said.

What happened next took him on a three day ride.

"I was completely was out of mind," Haney recalls.

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A recovering heroin addict he had been sober for months. He arrived at his halfway house enraged.

"I started getting very violent and vulgar with them," Haney said.

With his body temperature rising, he stripped out of his clothes. The police were called and arrested him.

He's glad they did.

"I could have killed someone. I could have killed myself. I have no recollection whatsoever. It was the scariest thing I've been through. I've OD'ed seven times. You know, I've been through hell before," he said.

No one could tell Haney what he had taken, not even a drug test. But inmates at the Broward County Jail knew.

"Everyone in there is on flakka," Haney discovered.

What is Flakka?

It's a synthetic drug related to something called bath salts. It can be smoked, swallowed or injected.

Users often hallucinate while their body temperatures skyrocket. Many people lose control of themselves and have no recollection of what happened.

Flakka is being produced in China. Massive amounts of the drug have been seized at customs in Chicago.  Customs officials confirming to CBS4 "Florida is a market and destination point for this dangerous drug."

And it's cheap – very cheap.

"They are just basically giving it out here. And it's cheap. Like $5 will get you all day," said Haney.

Flakka is clearly on the streets of Broward County.

There was the guy who tried to break into the Fort Lauderdale Police Department high on flakka. He ended up impaled on the fence.

A month earlier, at the same police department, another person high on flakka tried to break in. This time they tried through impact resistant doors.

Broward Health Emergency Room doctor Nabil El Sanadi explained, "They are hallucinating. They are in a psychotic state. They may have superhero strength."

A few weeks later there was the guy running naked down Broward Boulevard on a Saturday night.

Matthew Kenney admitted to cops he was high on flakka too. He was hoping to be hit by a car to get away from the people he imagined chasing him.

It has all the makings of a disaster: cheap, addictive and deadly.

"It's the scariest thing I've ever been through," Haney said.

So far he has been able to resist. He hopes he never experiences flakka ever again.

In an emergency move, the Drug Enforcement Agency has put flakka on a list of illegal drugs.

It's a cat and mouse game though. As soon as one drug is banned a similar, altered one comes about.


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