A new threat from the other side of the world

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

We're hearing a lot about the deal to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and it's a serious concern.

It's been called everything from "lighting the fuse" on a new Mideast nuclear arms race, to a "dramatic break from decades of animosity between the United States and Iran."

It is an ever-shrinking world, and if there is anything the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has taught us, it's that events on the other side of the globe can make themselves felt right here at home.

If that weren't enough to worry about, there's a new threat of an entirely different type arriving on our shores from another different land -- China.

"I am God! I am God! Burn in Hell! I am life!" one person shouts in a video while on a cheap new designer drug called flakka.

Ten times cheaper than Molly, and a cousin of synthetic stimulant found in bath salts, flakka can come in a capsule or powder to be smoked, swallowed or injected. It can be ordered online and delivered to your door, and it's more powerful than heroin or cocaine, and users are often numb to pain.

Also known as gravel, the $5 drug causes psychotic breakdowns, hallucinations and indiscriminate violence.

"Flakka can cause individuals to believe that they are being chased or are on fire, causing them to act violently with adrenaline-heightened strength, sometimes requiring four to five law enforcement officers to restrain them," according to the Broward County Florida's Human Services Department description of the drug.

It produces excited delirium, characterized by hyperthermia which increases the body temperature to 105 degrees and paranoia that causes users to run wild, according to the description.

The results aren't hard to imagine.

One video shows a man running through a busy intersection naked, dodging vehicles, police and an unknown number of imaginary attackers. Another tried to have sex with a tree, then told police he was the god Thor before ripping stun-gun probes from his body and attempting to stab a police officer with his own badge.

Others have tried to take children from their parents, one impaled himself on a fence at a police station and an 82-year-old great-grandmother died weeks after being randomly attacked in her Florida home by a man who police say was high on flakka.

Conventional defense techniques would probably be ineffective for a civilian encountering a flakka user on a violent rampage.

As the number of incidents related to the drug increases, more and more of us will consider arming ourselves with concealed weapons.

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