What Is Gravel? ‘Flakka’ Street Drug Goes By Many Names And Has Bizarre And Dangerous Effects

April 16, 2015 2:55 PM

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What Is Gravel? ‘Flakka’ Street Drug Goes By Many Names And Has Bizarre And Dangerous Effects

Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. are seeing a rise in the use of a potent and dangerous street drug called gravel, also known as Flakka, which can stimulate extreme paranoia and even suicidal thoughts in people who use it. A string of recent incidents in South Florida in which people high on gravel were found behaving erratically and even violently have put a spotlight on the drug in recent weeks. But police officers first began encountering gravel in 2012.

The gravel name comes from its white, crystallike appearance. The rock-like substance contains a synthetic stimulant called alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP). It belongs to a class of chemicals, called cathinones, which affect the central nervous and cardiovascular systems. Gravel, or Flakk...

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