Eveline de Klerk
Walvis Bay-The highly addictive and deadly street drug, Flakka, which originates from America, has found its way into Namibia and has been a cause of great concern for the country that is already battling to keep other addictive drugs, such as mandrax and crack cocaine, from the streets.
Flakka, also called gravel or flocka, is a newer-generation version of bath salts. Bath salts, in general,
are synthetic psychoactive drugs made in drug labs.
Flakka causes paranoia and psychosis. Like bath salts, flakka simulates the effects of cocaine and methamphetamine, and is 10 times more powerful than cocaine and alters the mental state of users. The drug comes in various forms such as colourful tables that are pink or white crystals or resembling gummy bear sweets that are popular among kids.
News that flakka was detected spread like wildfire this week. Members of the Namibian Police Force on Wednesday also confirmed that two incidences were reported, however, no further details were available on Wednesday afternoon regarding possible detections.
A concerned parent told New Era she is indeed worried about the future of the young generation, as this innocent-looking drug has adverse effects, especially mentally.
Concerned mother of two, Maureen Alberts, said she witnessed the effects the drug has on users during a recent visit to South Africa.
“That whole episode experienced by the users is so scary and the drug itself is so strong that the persons can injure themselves or anyone in their close proximity,” she told New Era on Wednesday.
She added that children, especially those at primary school, should be warned not to take anything from strangers.
“These drugs resemble colourful sweets and look very tempting. Hence, we, as parents, should really have a hard and open talk with our children regardless of how young they are. We must protect them at all cost,” she said.
Crime coordinator for the Namibian Police Force in Erongo, Chief Inspector Erastus Iikuyu, told New Era the law enforcement officers are on high alert regarding drug trafficking in the region.
“We know the effects of drugs and how they can affect lives, thus we are fully aware how dangerous this Flakka drug is and will play our part in bringing anyone trading it [to book], “ he said.
He also urged the community at large to be extra cautious and report any drug dealings so that police can act swiftly in bringing the culprits to book and encouraged parents to educate their children about the dangers of drugs.