Flakka has arrived in Durban and the authorities are warning about its effects, which include mental disturbance and possible psychotic episodes. Picture: Archives
Durban - “About 10 times more powerful than cocaine,” is how the director of Sanca Durban, has described new street drug “flakka”.
Walter Petersen on Wednesday told The Mercury that flakka - also known as “bath baths” or ‘gravel” - was a cathinone that was first synthesised decades ago.
“Sometimes, drugs make a resurgence after several years and come back stronger than before,” he said. “That appears to be what’s happening with flakka”.
Petersen explained it was a powerful upper and that its use could lead to paranoia and delirium.

“It tends to be cheaper than cocaine and you can buy it online, which makes it more easily accessible,” he said.
Sanca had not yet dealt with any cases.
“But we probably will,” Petersen said.
He said if users came to Sanca, their offices would take them in and and treat them on a similar programme to that offered for cocaine users.
But, he said, the drug was associated with “mental disturbances” and this could make treatment more challenging.
“Users will probably be subject to a dual diagnosis - of the addiction and the mental disturbance. That can make it more difficult,” Petersen said.
The Daily News reported that it was believed the drug was already being sold in Wentworth, Chatsworth and Pinetown.