NAPLES, FLA -- Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has introduced the 2016 Florida Designer Drug Enforcement Act in an effort to crack down on the synthetic drug known as "Flakka."
A grand jury in Broward County attributed 60 deaths in that county in 2014 to Flakka alone. Flakka looks like powder, but can also be injected.
''I started going crazy, I wasn't able to form sentences correctly," said a patient at Crossroads Substance Abuse Center in Naples.
He's being treated for heroin abuse, but says he dabbled in Flakka in October and November while living in Palm Beach County. ''I was awake for like, 4 or 5 days, just from being on the Flakka, because it is impossible to sleep when you're on it," he said.
In 2012 state lawmakers banned the main ingredient found in Flakka, but other chemical compounds since surfaced.
Attorney General Bondi's measure would tighten the ban. "We're certainly hearing more, more individuals coming through our treatment centers, reporting they're using or have used synthetic drugs, things like spice, K2, bath salts," said Crossroads Clinical Director Nancy Dauphinais.
Many of these designer drugs are sold online or in convenience stores and are packaged to look like candy.
"Some of them are packaged to look like sour patch kids. They are actually formulated like a sour patch kid," said Dauphinais.
In 2013 Collier County passed its own ordinance banning these synthetic drugs, from being sold, consumed or manufactured in the county.