FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — It’s a hot new drug of choice — it’s called flakka and we’ve seen people on flakka doing dangerous and extremely violent things around South Florida.
Flakka is causing the Broward Sheriff’s Office to rewrite policies on using force and create new training programs for deputies.
All deputies are being trained about flakka, what its’ effects are and how to deal with someone who is on it.
Also, the use of force policies are being updated to handle someone exhibiting the super human strength that have been seen from some people using this extremely dangerous drug.
On Tuesday night, CBS4’s Carey Codd rode along with BSO Sergeant Ozzy Tianga in Deerfield Beach where flakka has made inroads. Tianga said it’s been surprising how quickly flakka — a synthetic drug — took hold on the streets and what it does to users.
“People just acting psychotic,” he explained. “What they’re saying makes no sense. What they’re doing makes no sense, why they’re acting the way they do.”
Tianga said the unpredictability of people on the drug, like people running naked on the streets, trying to smash their way into a police department or impaling themselves on an iron fence while using flakka has led the Broward Sheriff’s Office to update their policies on how to handle people on the drug because standard use of force methods do not always work on people using flakka.
“Our training division is working overtime to implement new policy and new protocol to deal with this protocol because it’s so new to us,” Tianga told Codd.
Tianga said it takes multiple deputies to subdue someone on flakka and tasers haven’t worked on some users. Tianga said dealing with flakka is a major priority for the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
During the ride along, Codd spoke to a man who said he’s used flakka. He didn’t want to reveal his identity but he did share the reasons he finds flakka so dangerous.
“They fail to tell you what they cook it with — rat poison, clorox, and all that other crap that’s gonna kill everybody,” the man said.
Experts said flakka causes dangerous hallucinations and can make the user feel like they have superhuman strength. For users, the drug can cause kidney failure, heart problems and even death.
For Sergeant Tianga, the goal is to learn as much about flakka as possible in hopes of ridding the streets of it.
“We’re all on a learning curve,” he said. “Our community doesn’t know what to do. They’re coming to us and we’re aggressively trying to find a solution.”