A few years ago, a new synthetic drug called Flakka appeared in Florida. It wasn’t long before viral videos and sensationalized news reports of alleged Flakka overdoses started to spread across the internet, and people began comparing its effects to that of a zombie outbreak. One supposed incident involved a person who allegedly ate off a homeless man’s face on the side of a highway. The drug’s effects are often compared to that of bath salts, and include hallucinations, “superhuman” strength, and a state of “excited delirium” that is credited with driving the lunatic actions of some users.
However, Flakka can be easily altered or changed, and reports have emerged that its recent incarnation has surfaced under a slightly new chemical—and just as dangerous—structure. VICE’s Matt Shea travels to Florida to meet both users and distributors to discover what’s really behind this zombie drug.