Over 40 cases of consumption of ‘designer drug’ flakka have been identified in Portugal, leading national media to highlight its truly horrific side-effects.
Citing data from the PJ judicial police scientific laboratory, Jornal de Notícias dubs flakka “very dangerous and furthermore fatal” stressing that it “frequently leads users to consume parts of their own body.
“In Europe, more than 100 people have died following consumption of this drug”, adds Observador, stressing that 30 cases were detected in 2015, and 11 last year.
What leads people to actually go out and buy the drug remains a mystery.
Observador explains it is 15 times cheaper than cocaine and can be easily purchased over the internet.
But the internet is also full of videos showing the chilling after-effects of consumption – some, warns Observador, even featuring cannibalism.
Made from a compound called alpha-PVP, flakka, or ‘gravel’ as it is also sometimes called, originated in China and can be smoked, inhaled or injected.
Business Insider online carried a report two years ago on how “deadly” flakka is – and how its active ingredient slipped through a ban on its “chemical cousin” cathinone, the amphetamine-like drug found in bathsalts.
For now, Portugal is simply ‘aware’ that the drug is in the country and trying to stress how dangerous consumption can be.