Fort Lauderdale, FL- Flakka, a synthetic drug that gives users a cheap high is sweeping the streets of South Florida, leading to numerous deaths and arrests across the region. As flakka use continues to grow, the number of DUI arrests among will also continue to grow.

Flakka is a synthetic drug, usually manufactured in China, made from a chemical compound called alpha-PVP. The drug which can be inhaled, smoked or snorted allegedly creates a high similar to that of cocaine and gives the user superhuman strength, according to CNN. But it flakka isn’t just intoxicating, it can be deadly.

Speaking with CNN in April, Jim Hall, an epidemiologist who specializes in drug abuse at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said that flakka is so dangerous because it is easy to take an overdose. “Just a little bit of difference in how much is consumed can be the difference between getting high and dying. It’s that critical,” Hall said.

In addition to the high associated with flakka use, users often overheat which is why many flakka users take off their clothes. They also become very paranoid, plagued with the feeling they are being pursued. The drug also amplifies despair in users.

The Sun Sentinel reported that in 2014 flakka was a factor in 16 deaths in Broward County alone. Sis of those occurred in just one month, December. Most of those deaths are attributed to overdoses with many users taking multiple drugs in addition to the flakka, but the Sentinel also found that one suicide and one homicide could be associated with flakka use.

Deaths, however, aren’t the only negative effect of flakka as arrests of people on the dangerous drug are also on the rise in Fort Lauderdale and Broward County. The Daily Mail reports that the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s crime labs have grown from 38 in 2013 to 228 in 2014.

If you have been arrested for a DUI because you were using flakka or other illicit or prescription drug, you need to speak with an attorney immediately. A drugged driving charge is serious and can lead to incarceration and loss of your driver’s license, but that is just the tip of the iceberg. Overtime a conviction drugged driving can cost you thousands in fine and penalties, legal fees and increased insurance premiums. You can avoid the high financial and legal costs of your drugged driving charge by retaining a DUI lawyer in Florida to work on your defense. They are your best chance at avoiding a DUI conviction or negotiating for a plea bargain.

You don’t realize now, but a DUI conviction can have an impact on your life, personally and professionally for years to come. As soon after your arrests as possible, you need to contact and attorney. If you live in Fort Lauderdale and are facing DUI charges, let USAttorneys connect you with a DUI defense attorney near you, so they can begin working on your defense.