Florida emergency dispatchers have a new codeword for people on flakka

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As in all years, you know that some pretty weird stuff went down in the Sunshine State in 2015.


The majority of cases don't involve people acting violently; instead, they tend to involve people making very poor decisions, frequently as they are tripping hard on an illegal substance, and just need help.

The number of such cases surged in 2015, a year that made synthetic drugs like flakka a household name. As a result, Florida 911 dispatchers have created a new code to alert law enforcement when they're going to be dealing with such subjects: "excited delirium."


"By assessing the signs and putting out that alarm, they’re able to summon the proper kind of response from emergency medical teams,"The Palm Beach Post reports. "The 'excited delirium' designation alerts fire-rescue squads to prepare for a patient, rather than some out-of-control monster—someone who needs a sedative, and fast."

The Post says that Palm Beach County Fire and Rescue recorded 55 “excited delirium” calls from Oct. 8 through early December—nearly once a day.

“It’s getting to patients and treating them quicker,” Capt. Brent Bloomfield, of West Palm Beach Fire Rescue, told the Post.

Some of these cases have been violent; the most recent reported cases of flakka abuse in Florida involved a man accused of stabbing two individuals while high on the substance, and another man ramming his car into a county jail in an attempt to visit a friend.


As a result, "excited delirium" calls first involve police securing the scene of an incident before emergency medical services personnel takes over, the Post says.

But Florida officials insisted to the Post they are saving lives by not overreacting and properly treating subjects.


Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.

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