South GA officers prepare for 'killer drug' flakka

South GA officers prepare for 'killer drug' flakka
Area law enforcement received training to identify Flakka at a recent conference
Grady County Sheriff Harry Young
Grady County Sheriff Harry Young
David Scharf
David Scharf

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Florida authorities call it '$5 Insanity.'

A drug called 'flakka' is becoming an increasingly popular drug that's threatening not only communities, but also emergency personnel who respond.

Authorities say flakka is very cheap and readily available, which makes it extremely popular with the younger generations.

And it's the unpredictability of this drug that makes it dangerous for anyone who comes into contact with a user.

Now, South Georgia officials plan to combat the deadly drug.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office hosted a training session Wednesday at the Florida Public Safety Headquarters in Gadsden County.

Nearly 100 officers from around south Georgia were there to learn how to handle and recognize the drug.

Flakka, or Alpha PVP, is making its ways to the streets of South Georgia, after authorities said it's killed nearly 40 people in South Florida.

Executive Director of Community Programs for the Broward County Sheriff's Office David Scharf said, "The challenge to us is education in the community.  Telling people not to do this drug, because if you do this drug, you don't know what is going to happen."

The training session brought all of the pieces of law enforcement and emergency medical service together.

They believe this collaboration will help prevent this drug from taking more lives.

"In the 30 years I've been in law enforcement, this is the worst drug I've ever seen," said Scharf.  "It's had the most devastating effect on our community, and we're not sure how long it's going to last."

For just $5, you could buy flakka, which causes side effects such as heart attacks and kidney failure.

But what's most concerning is that the drug makes users extremely violent and aggressive.

"Once they see what it can do, they think it's just a party drug.  It's not a party drug.  It's a killer. It is a killer drug," said Grady County Sheriff Harry Young.

Sheriff Young said he's planning to take the information from this training session straight to schools.

"What we're trying to do is, not just put a Band-Aid on it, but make some progress in stopping it before it gets to be an epidemic," said Sheriff Young.

The Sheriff plans to educate parents about the drug as well, giving them ways to recognize any unusual behavior that may be a sign of their child using flakka.

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