WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Charlie Dent (PA-15) expressed the following sentiments in response to the gruesome killing in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania involving a man who had ingested a synthetic drug known as flakka:

“Synthetic drugs, like flakka, are incredibly dangerous, and what happened in Bethlehem, as a direct result of their use, is reprehensible. My thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his family,” Dent expressed. “The fact that this kind of synthetic drug has found its way into the Lehigh Valley is of great concern to me. In 2012, and again last year, I introduced legislation to amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to include many of the substances included in these synthetic drugs and get them off the streets. My bill would also grant the U.S. Department of Justice greater flexibility in their efforts to combat new chemicals used in making these drugs in the future.”

Congressman Dent introduced H.R. 3537, the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2015, this Congress. The purpose of the bill was to expand the list of chemicals currently banned under the existing CSA.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drugs like flakka, known officially as synthetic cathinones, are primarily abused for their hallucinogenic and psychostimulant effects. Flakka, in particular, can cause hyperstimulation, paranoia, and hallucinations that can lead to violent aggression and self-injury. Additionally, it can be taken in orally, by injection, or through the nose. In some cases, it can lead to death.

“The safety of our families, our communities, and our district as a whole is a primary priority of mine,” Dent continued. “I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to support legislation that protects the people of Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District and aids in removing these harmful synthetic drugs from our communities.”


Contact: Emily Rauch (202) 225-6411