Buying illicit drugs like flakka is not safe in any context. Still, some people choose to buy the drug online. They may be tempted by lower prices or the idea of buying something online without dealing with street dealers.
There are many risks in buying any illicit substance online. You could have your financial information stolen or receive an even more dangerous product.
What is Flakka?
Flakka is a drug similar to cocaine in its effects, but it can be more dangerous. A May 2015 CNN report explains that flakka is a synthetic drug, and its risks can be similar to those associated with bath salts.
Flakka, known in the streets as gravel or zombie drug, looks similar to raw sugar or salt crystals. People inject, snort, or smoke it. Like cocaine, it can make users feel extremely alert.
Other reported effects of taking flakka are:
- Physical violence
- Feelings of extreme strength
The CNN report highlighted stories of people who behaved bizarrely after taking flakka, such as a girl in Florida who claimed to be Satan and a man who broke hurricane-proof doors at a South Florida police station.
Is It Safe To Buy Flakka Online?
Selling unlawful substances is illegal whether it is done on the streets or online. Even buying prescription medication over the internet can be risky.
If you purchase flakka online, you risk:
- Potential threats. People who sell drugs online are doing something unlawful. Buying flakka online means you are willingly providing information to someone taking part in criminal activity. Rogue online drug sellers may sell your information, or they may not have appropriate privacy controls that safeguard your information.
- Getting something completely different. The National Health Service outlines precautions for people who buy prescriptions, and these could help you understand the risks of buying any drug online. You might get something that is not flakka or what you receive could be laced with something else.
Flakka is already dangerous on its own. If it’s mixed with other dangerous substances, those risks are compounded.
Dangers of Use
A November 2017 article from the Sunday Times mentions that flakka is so harmful because all synthetic drugs cause effects in people that are not yet understood. Flakka and bath salts are becoming more popular because certain widely known drugs, like opioids, are being more tightly regulated.
Common side effects from flakka are:
- Rise in heartbeat
- Heightened temperature
- Increased self-awareness
- Psychosis, especially in people who are predisposed to experiencing it
Information about items that may contaminate flakka is not widely available. As mentioned by Healthline, flakka is often the contaminant in other drugs. People who buy ecstasy are likely to encounter flakka as a contaminant in their MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine) pills.
The Dark Web
If flakka is illegal, then where would anyone buy it? Many potential drug buyers use the dark web to buy illicit services and substances.
Most people use the surface web, where they access sites like Google to find things. Every browser in most computers is equipped to use the surface web. The dark web requires a special browser that makes it harder to track what you are browsing online.
You could still get caught if you are buying drugs online, but it will be a little bit harder if you are using the dark web. Law enforcement, however, is increasingly targeting these sites.
Flakka is a synthetic drug, and its already dangerous effects could increase if you mix it with alcohol or other drugs. Healthline reports that most teenagers do not actually want to try flakka, but they encounter it when they purchase other drugs.
It is possible to test the drugs you buy for the presence of flakka. This is not a foolproof way to stay safe. If you are taking any illicit substance, you are taking on significant risks.
A March 2017 Vice article explains how drug testing can help you
- You learn a bit more about what you are about to take.
- Testing drugs can help you avoid toxic contaminants.
Vice mentions that many reagent kits contain a small vial where you add the drug you are about to take. You then add chemicals depending on the drug you are testing for, and you have to interpret these results using a color chart.
In the United Kingdom, organizations such as The Loop help users test their drugs using more accurate methods. Reagent kits available to consumers are not perfect. If you do not know enough about chemistry, it might be difficult to interpret your results, but testing is still better than nothing.
In addition to the health consequences, you need to keep in mind that flakka is a scheduled drug. Buying it in any way makes it likely that you will experience legal consequences if you get caught, especially if you buy it regularly.
The U.S. Postal Service has now established ways it can keep track of packages from people who buy marijuana through the mail. You can expect similar treatment of your packages if they contain flakka.
- Packages with contraband are flagged and secured.
- Employees discuss suspicious packages with their supervisors, who can then turn to authorities for assistance.
The police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration are just some of the agencies that can become involved if you are caught buying illegal drugs online. Some consequences could include:
- Seizure of your packages
- Formal charges against you
- Hefty fines
- Jail time
You will still have the right to seek legal help and contest any charges against you. If you are charged and this involves a court, you face the same types of consequences you would face if you had bought flakka on the street.