Check Out The Most Dangerous Drugs You’ve Never Heard Of
While the long California drought continues, another kind of drought is happening in Florida and, like ninety percent of what comes out of Florida, it’s fucking crazy. After a long battle, The Batshit Crazy State (unofficial title) has finally put an end to the flakka craze that spiked in 2014 and 2015. No Wakka included. Flakka, or alpha-PVP, is a street drug that took over South Florida and had a bad habit of inducing psychosis, causing people to streak naked (their body temperature spikes to about 104 degrees), and even impale themselves. But really, aren’t those casual Florida activities anyway?
When the flakka epidemic got to emergency levels, police looked to other organizations for help containing it. After teaming up with the social services agency United Way of Broward County and the U.S. Department of Treasury to pressure China directly to stop producing the drug. It worked because now, the flakka drug has all but disappeared from the streets of South Florida. If the stories of flakka abuse don’t send you into the throws of another sobriety pledge that’ll last until the weekend, here are five other dangerous street drugs that have popped up all over the world (that you definitely should not ever do).
Any time a drug is referred to as the “zombie drug,” it’s probably not a good idea to take it. That’s the nickname for Krokodil, which gets that equally terrifying name because it leaves users with scaly, decomposing skin wherever they inject it. In many cases, their flesh actually falls off and they become something that looks like zombies, hence the nickname. It’s been called the “world’s deadliest drug” by Time Magazine and it has ravaged Siberia and the Russian Far East.
Krokodil is heroine on a budget. It uses household items including codeine, paint thinner, hydrochloric acid and red phosphorus scraped from the strike pads on matchboxes to create the dirty yellow liquid. At the drug’s peak, there were an estimated one million addicts using Krokodil.
Speaking of crazy Florida things and zombies, bath salts! Everyone remembers 31-year-old Rudy Eugene, who became the face-eating “Miami Zombie” after taking the drug. So no, this isn’t your grandma’s favorite Christmas present. The drug is technically legal because it’s marketed as actual bath salts despite being made of completely different ingredients. If you drop these in your baths, you’ll just have a really sad and disappointing soak.
Bath salts are made from stimulants and mimic the effects of ecstasy and cocaine with a bit of casual meth thrown it. They’re also allegedly undetectable on drug tests, which made them the drug of choice for people who didn’t want to lose their jobs—no word on how lenient their employers would be after they start eating someone’s face.
This drug takes us from Florida to the streets of East Harlem, where K2 use has run rampant. On 125th Street, abuse of the drug is so widespread that ambulances regularly make rounds to “pick up the people who drop,” according to one resident. K2 is a drug that acts as synthetic marijuana. It’s earned the nickname Spice, because it looks a lot like the oregano a street dealer sold you when you tried to buy drugs for the first time. It can apparently be up to 100 times more potent than marijuana and much cheaper—it can be purchased for as little as $5 at bodegas. Nothing says convenience like dangerous street drugs and a 3AM bodega sandwich.
K2 is commonly manufactured in giant Chinese factories and has the core formula changed frequently to keep the DEA from controlling the flow of it into the city. The effects of the drug have been reported to range from mildly enjoyable to overwhelmingly terrifying psychosis, which is pretty much in line with most synthetic street drugs. Do yourself a favor and save up for real marijuana—at least that won’t eat away at your brain and make you overdose.
No, this isn’t a joke. Grandma says to use a dash of it for every holiday recipe, but it’s also one of the worst drugs you can take. The low-cost addition to your spike rack requires a pretty high dosage and, once taken, seems to be one of the biggest nightmares you can willingly put yourself through besides watching Gigli three times in a row. Swallowing the nutmeg seeds leads to hallucinatory effects and can last for days.
Stories of nutmeg highs include rapid pulse, restlessness, chest pain, and delirium, which are also the side effects of watching the election process play out. Oh yeah and fear of death is pretty common, but that’s also a natural response to hallucinating for days. If you needed more good news about the drug, just know the hangover can also last for days. Then again, that’s probably because a higher power is judging you for using cooking spices as a drug.
Moving from the spice rack to South Africa, the biggest street drug there has a surprise ingredient that’s meant to save your life. Nyaope is made of HIV antiretroviral medication [ARVs] and mixed with rat poison, cleaning detergents, and other things that should never be on a list of things to put in your body. The deadly cocktail is usually bought as a powder for about $3 or $4 and added to marijuana before it’s smoked. Since Nyaope is made of a bunch of poison, users often get uncomfortable stomach pains if they aren’t high on it, which sets them up in an endless cycle of needing the drug to combat the pain.
When users ingest the drug, the effect is generally hallucinations but results can vary since it rally is just dirty heroine. There have been reports of severe body aches, shivering, anxiety, and insomnia that don’t stop since addiction rates are so prevalent. Like all the other drugs named previously, Nyaope comes with a warning that usage may ruin your life, body, and vacation to South Africa.
Illustration by Jim Cooke.
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