Parents used to warn kids about strangers with candy. Now, Miami-Dade police want to warn parents and kids about drug dealers with look-alike candy.
A June drug bust brought in several pieces of drugs that resembled hard candy. But the candy’s sugar-coating was ethylone, a synthetic drug similar to flakka, the low-cost, heavy-hallucinogenic drug skyrocketing in popularity throughout Florida.
“It comes in a form of a candy and we want to alert the public so we can talk to our kids because it looks to us like they’re trying to target young kids,” Miami-Dade Lieutenant Daniel Ferrin said Thursday.
Ferrin showed media the form ethylone usually comes in, little, dull-yellow crystals, and the multi-colored drugs police snagged in June. He repeated the warnings said by parents for years —don’t accept loose-wrapped candy or candy from strangers.
Over in Bradenton, a man was arraigned Wednesday after authorities said he intended to sell methamphetamine packaged as candy.
While those on flakka and similar drugs sometimes stay up all night seeing things that aren’t there, the effects of these drugs keep many law enforcement and fire rescue workers up all night either worrying about the damage done or dealing with the damage done.
“Flakka came into Fort Lauderdale very quickly,” Fort Lauderdale Fire Department Deputy Chief Timothy Heiser said. “It's cheap, easy to use and it basically drives people crazy. We have seen someone impale themselves on a fence, multiple people run naked in the street thinking someone or something is chasing them and someone dive into the Intracoastal.
“When we find them they are on the way to hospital or to the morgue,” Heiser said. “I have never seen anyone enjoying a flakka high. It's about eight hours of sheer terror.”