Do Flakka zombies really exist?
Last week we featured a worrying story about how Flakka zombies had surfaced in Durban due to this new and dangerous drug and as with most media channels we latched onto the fact that this narcotic makes people crazy.
You can read that coverage and watch the horrific video footage here.
Since Flakka has landed in SA, there has been widespread fear and panic and now some light has been shed on the ‘zombie drug.’
This article on The Conversation reveals a different side to what Flakka really is and also reminds us how mass hysteria over drugs is often perpetuated through the media.
DISCLAIMER: we’re not trying to imply in any way that FLAKKA is not dangerous and as with so much online media, one should be aware that opinion and conjecture is often more prevalent than fact. It’s always better to consider all sides to a story rather than hit the panic button, though.
So, here’s the summary of what The Conversation is saying about Flakka zombies…
Stories of murder and horrific crimes due to drug use have been circulated by the media for over a century, starting with cocaine in 1914, reefer madness in 1930 and LSD murders in the 1960’s.
Flakka is the latest drug joining major crimes and although it seems to be a very dangerous substance, everything is not as the media says.
The drug is now synonymous with cannibalism because of such stories like that of 19-year old Florida resident Austin Harrouff who bit the face and abdomen of a couple, killing them.
The authorities believed that he was high on Flakka, although his toxicology tests later revealed that there was none found in his system.
In your molly
The drug has been found to be associated with paranoia, delusions and hallucinations (all dependent on frequency/extent of use.)
The same can and has been said about LSD, weed and many other substances too.
These stories seem to be a deterrent against use, which naturally, it has been.
However, what a lot of young people don’t know is that Flakka is a common additive in popular drugs like ecstasy and MDMA…
A study showed that 4 out of 10 people tested positive for one or more of the compound that make what is ‘bath salts,’ without turning into zombies.
We are in no way trying to stand up for Flakka, but the truth needs to be conveyed so that people can have a better understanding, be more educated and make informed decisions.
Those who are dependent on the drug need to feel safe to seek treatment and not feel ostracized.
Flakka is claimed to be more addictive than crack or speed (tik) so we’d suggest you steer clear at all costs.
But the Flakka zombies story seems a bit of a stretch and is not necessarily true, neither are the silly stories of the drug now being put in sweets and fed to school children; the sweets story, by the way, is an urban legend that has been associated with so many drugs by mainstream media for years.