New drug causing users to get naked

Published: May. 13, 2015 at 2:09 AM EDT
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FOX19 - Yet another new drug with even crazier side effects including running in the nude is flooding the country. It's called 'Flakka' and now experts worry it's growing popularity will bring it to the Tri-State.

In just the last five days, FOX 19 NOW heard several calls for help in Cincinnati involving nude, irrational people acting erratically.

"'He doesn't have any f**** clothes on. He's running down the road. He's probably on something, I don't know," said a 911 caller during a home invasion that resulted in a shooting in Warren County.

While police are not directly saying these cases involved Flakka, a former addict tells us this type of behavior is exactly what you would expect from this dangerous drug.

"Somebody was after me. The feeling of impending doom, illusions, hallucinations and then extended periods of not sleeping," said Robin Higginbotham. "The fact that your brain chemistry has been altered to begin with on top of the sleep deprivation that is when your erratic behavior begins and people are likely to do anything."

YouTube shows dozens of videos depicting the effects including a man running from police naked in Florida where the drug is booming.

According the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Flakka is a similar form of bath salts and can be injested in nearly every form. Some studies call it more addictive than meth and deadly but Higginbotham says a simple click of a button could send the drug directly to your home.

"Ordering off of the internet, receiving it, distributing it and then using it," said Higginbotham who ordered his Flakka from China.

Now 11 months in recovery, Higginbotham says the high of Flakka doesn't hold the same grip. With HART Inc, he now helps other addicts and is attending college to become a substance abuse counselor. Now with Flakka hitting the mainstream, he worries more addicts will fight the same addiction.

"Drugs, you always run out and you are always seeking more looking for that eternal high and it just doesn't happen," said Higginbotham.

Local law enforcement officials in Northern Kentucky and Ohio tell FOX 19 NOW so far they haven't seen a huge spike in Flakka use in the Tri-State like in Florida, California and Texas.

So far, Flakka has been linked to deaths by suicide and heart attacks in just the last few years.

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