ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - Imagine a drug so powerful, it causes someone to try and break into a police department. That’s exactly what happened to a Florida man on flakka. The man tried to break through hurricane-proof glass before tossing a big rock through a police window.
Flakka is the latest synthetic drug and it is similar to bath salts. Investigators in St. Louis have not seen any cases involving flakka, but fear it will be here soon.
“Florida had a few incidents where it took 7 plus officers to get one subject under control,” said St. Louis County Police Detective Casey Lambert.
She says the drug causes hallucinations and sometimes gives users super-human strength.
“A Taser wouldn't affect them, pepper spray won’t affect them,” said Lambert. “If you go hands on, it’s going to be the fight of your life. That’s what we`re seeing with this flakka drug,” said Lambert.
She says flakka is coming from China. It’s surfaced in Florida, Texas and Chicago.
“Florida is seeing a large amount of overdoses from it, so it’s killing the community and that’s something we need to be aware of,” Lambert said.
The fear over flakka comes at a time when St. Louis already has its hands full with drug problems. Lambert says St. Louis County has more heroin overdoses than any other Missouri county. Police are also finding marijuana products containing highly concentrated forms of THC.
“They are coming on very strong, very quickly with St. Louis County youth,” said Dan Duncan, St. Louis Area National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. “We’re seeing it like daily.”
In some cases it’s shaped like lollipops or candy, making it easy for users to conceal. Lambert says even police officers can mistake the highly concentrated form of marijuana for candy.
Duncan believes parents need to talk to their kids about all these different forms of drugs so they can educate them.
“It’s not the norm, but sometimes a person trying a drug for the first time can die,” said Duncan.
He also believes more treatment programs are needed to help drive down the demand for drugs. He says just as police can learn about one drug, something else surfaces.
“We’re going to continue seeing this I think in the foreseeable future where backyard chemists are coming up with concoctions that are one off from something that’s already been deemed illegal,” said Duncan.
Lambert says there’s no way to keep flakka from getting into St. Louis. She says just because police haven’t seen it yet doesn't mean it’s already here.