There have been no reports of the spread of a kind of drug called “Flakka” or “zombie” in Thailand but narcotic suppression police throughout the country have been instructed to watch out for it, Pol Maj Gen Tanai Apichartseni, acting deputy commissioner of the Narcotics Suppresion Bureau (NSB) said on Tuesday (Oct 10).
Pol Maj Gen Tanai said after a meeting with officials of the United States’ Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that this kind of designer drug has spread in the Americas.
Scientifically named alpha-Pyrrolidinovalerophenone, also known as alpha-PVP, A-PVP, and Flakka, it is a synthetic stimulant substance of the cathinoine and pyrrolidine chemical classes.
Flakka users can develop feelings of euphoria, enhanced alertness and wakefulness, and increased movement — all symptoms that are similar to those experienced by people on other drugs like amphetamines or cocaine.
According to Pol Maj Gen Tanai, Flakka is a white-powder drug which can be absorbed through the skin into blood cells. An overdose of Flakka can cause a sudden death. At least one official died of this kind of drug in the United States.
A warning has been sent to anti-drug officials in Thailand not to directly touch Flakka, except with use of rubber gloves.
He said Flakka, which is also called “zombie” drug, has not yet spread in Thailand.
Pol Maj Gen Tanai warned that anyone who tries to use it only once will become addicted to it. This is suicidal, he added.
Sirinya Sithichai, secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotic Control Board (Oncb), said Flakka or zombie was once sold legally in the US. Sales of the drug were prohibited after it was found to have ten times stronger effects than cocaine and methamphetamine. Those taking Flakka will become hallucinated, their body temperature will rise to 40 degree celcius, and develop the symptoms of heart and kidney failure, and may finally die.