REGULATE THIS INSANITY! It is not a conflation to say all illicit drug use can lead to this outcome, especially in a culture that seeks only pleasure, or only avoidance of any discomfort!
Murderous rampages, superhuman strength, and a high more potent than crystal meth: As deadly drug claims its first British victim, RICHARD PENDLEBURY investigates the insanity of taking flakka
By RICHARD PENDLEBURY FOR THE DAILY MAIL PUBLISHED: 8 February 2020
Camille Balla will next appear at the Palm Beach courthouse, Florida, at the end of March.
If her case goes to trial, the evidence is likely to unsettle even the most stout-hearted juror. And that is some understatement.
In March 2018, police were called to Balla’s home in Royal Palm Beach. There, they found the 32-year-old covered in blood, with large cuts to her fingers and palms. In the property’s garage they came across her mother Francisca, lying dead in a pool of blood.
- Factory worker Andrea Horvathova, 23, died after taking flakka with a cocktail of other illegal substances in the UK
- Camille Balla, 32, allegedly smoked a flakka-laced marijuana joint before killing her mother at their home in Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Her eyes had been gouged out, seemingly by some of the shards of broken glass which lay around her...apparently by her own daughter.
Francisca’s eyeballs had been placed on a cardboard box a few yards from her corpse. While officers were contemplating this horror, Balla reportedly veered between icy calm and shrieking hysteria. When formally arrested she allegedly began to chant, ‘I’m a murderer’!
Later she is said to have told police that before she killed her mother she had been smoking marijuana, which she believed had been laced with the designer drug flakka.
This will have surprised no one in the Sunshine State, because in the last half dozen years Florida has been hit by a flakka epidemic. It has manifested itself in dozens of overdose deaths and suicides, as well as a number of disturbing public incidents
Flakka gets its street name from the Spanish slang phrase la Flaca. This loosely translates as ‘a slim attractive woman’. But there is nothing beautiful about the effects of the drug or the circumstances of those who abuse it. They are often poor, if not desperate, individuals.
In the UK a hit of flakka can be purchased for as little as £2.30 — and it is said to be more potent and addictive than crystal meth.
Alpha-pyrrolidinovalerophenone is flakka’s scientific name, or more simply alpha-PVP. It is a synthetic version of the natural chemical cathinone, the active ingredient in khat leaves that are chewed for their stimulating effects in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
But other side-effects are grim, even deadly. Flakka can cause paranoia, delusions, hallucinations, aggression and psychotic behaviour, leading some abusers to think they have superhuman powers, such as flying or prodigious strength.
Sweating and dilated pupils are common indicators. Heart attacks and strokes are a risk under its influence. First-time users are said to take three to four days to return to a normal state of mind. Repeat users can take more than two weeks to be restored to equilibrium.
In 2017, Derren Morrison was sentenced to life imprisonment for beating to death Louise Clinton on her 83rd birthday. He told police he believed the grandmother, a total stranger, was a blood-covered demon who had been trying to kill him. He had been smoking flakka before the assault, he said.
Last year, another alleged flakka user gouged out his own eyes and attempted to chop off his penis. The 35-year-old medical student from Brazil had been depressed after splitting from his girlfriend.
Flakka use by people with existing mental health issues can have explosive consequences. But such is the drug’s reputation for inducing spectacular psychosis that it has been blamed for shocking crimes without solid proof of a connection.