Flakka Addiction

What is flakka?

Flakka is a generally new designer drug that is increasing in popularity, especially in Florida, Texas, and Ohio. This man-made stimulant can as well be referred to as “gravel” on the street because of its white, crystal-like pieces. Flakka is in a similar class of chemical found in bath salts. It contains a compound known as Alpha-PVP (α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone), comparable in structure to MDPV (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone). It is an engineered drug that is basically identified with cathinone. Flakka can be snorted, smoked, infused or even ingested.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has listed Alpha-PVP as a Schedule I drug since 2014. Flakka is manufactured in a form that is similar to crystalline rock, and it is usually sold online and is repackaged in capsules or made available for vaping in e-cigarettes. This has made easy to be concealed and used in public without been suspected by law enforcers of friends and families. The infamous drug is estimated to be ten times more potent than Ritalin. In recent studies comparing the differences in the side effects of Flakka and bath salts among animals revealed a lot of similarities in terms of how potent the drug is, and the threat posed by the effects. Findings from this study also claim that the two drugs provide equal rates of drug addiction if used continuously.

Flakka is a powerful drug that poses extreme dangers to one’s physical and mental health. The flakka drug outbreak continues to shock society as it carries behaviors that many are calling zombie drugs shocking behavior continuing to shock of threat to society. Several news has been reported since the drug surfaced, and each time drug makes the news, it has never been good news.

In 2016, reports surfaced that a 19-year-old teenager and student of Florida State University (FSU), Austin Harrouf,  stabbed a couple to death at their home in Florida. It was also reported that Austin Harrouf gnawed at the husband’s face shortly after the stabbing incident. An official said, “The teen was grunting like an animal as police tried subduing him during the attack.”

Specialists trust Harrouff was high on flakka, an addictive designer drug that causes paranoia and psychosis. Flakka, known as Gravel sometimes, is closely related to “bath salts,” a manufactured cathinone that police connected to the notorious face-eating assault in Miami seven years ago.

Why do people take flakka and what does it feel like?

Like cathinone, alpha-PVP is a type of stimulant, colloquially called an “upper.” Uppers are linked with feelings of euphoria, enhanced alertness and wakefulness, and increased movement — all symptoms that are similar to those experienced by people on other drugs like amphetamines or cocaine. Because flakka is so new, researchers are unsure of it’s effects on the brain and how addictive it is. For now, they can only guess by looking it’s chemical cousins, cocaine and amphetamines. Both of these drugs cause a surge in chemical production of the feel-good chemical dopamine (euphoric sensations) and norepineprhine (raises heart rate and makes us more alert).

Like cocaine and meth, flakka users will experience what is known as the “comedown.” This “comedown” occurs when the drug starts to leaves the body, leaving a flakka user feeling fatigued or depressed. More often than not, this leads a user back to the drug to alleviate the feeling caused from that same drug. Those users are more prone to jump-starting a cycle of use that can lead to abuse. Like cocaine and meth, the drug may alter brain chemistry in a way that makes users require a larger and larger dose to get the same high.

Excessive use has been linked with feelings of extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Like with bath salts, people have also reported dozens of episodes of violent behavior in people on flakka. At high doses, flakka may also cause the body to reach high temperatures, similar to bath salt side-effects. High body temperatures are very dangerous and may lead to severe, physical complications like muscle breakdown or kidney damage.

What are the warning signs or symptoms of flakka use?

NOTE: A person under the influence of flakka might act and/or feel  effects similar to “bath salts” or cocaine. This can result in high potential of violent behavior and other negative psycho-social consequences when taken. These actions and behaviors are more common when flakka is consumed in high doses. Flakka use can also lead to unintentional injury and various forms of trauma that may be severe.

  • Hyperactivity and restlessness
  • Heightened sense alertness
  • Aberrant and ‘bizarre’ behavior
  • Extreme agitation and irritability
  • Delirium or intense confusion
  • Psychotic symptoms, delusions, and hallucinations
Flakka infographic history and flakka statistics and data

What are the negative short-term and long-term effects of abusing flakka?

Short-term effects of flakka use:

Similar to other stimulants, flakka use results in a flood of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Additionally, Flakka hinders the uptake of this neurotransmitter by the brain cells, producing an intense feeling of euphoria.

  • Euphoric sensations
  • Rapid heart rate and palpitations
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Heightened alertness and paranoia
  • Aggressive behaviors and extreme paranoia

The unknown effects of Flakka have many alarmed about its use and popularity, as no one knows what exactly the drug can do to the body and brain in the long term. The immediate and long-term effects of Flakka can rival some of the strongest crystal meth and cocaine.

Long-term effects of flakka use:

Long-term effects are not yet published. Flakka is one of the more recent synthetic drugs and research into its effects isn’t extensive. However, research that has been conducted has shown that the drug can be toxic to the kidneys and cause renal failure.

The unknown effects of Flakka have many alarmed about its use and popularity, as no one knows what exactly the drug can do to the body and brain in the long term. The immediate and long-term effects of Flakka can rival some of the strongest crystal meth and cocaine.

Can someone recover from flakka addiction?

Anyone can experience recovery from flakka addiction if they receive the correct treatment. Someone who is experiencing flakka addiction needs to seek medical attention. A combination of clinical help, psychiatric care or individual counseling along with an honest and thorough twelve step program (worked daily) can lead to long-term abstinence from flakka and any other substance. As with any addiction, many of the issues occur when flakka or another substance is no longer being used. Our clients know that drugs and alcohol are not the problem, they are the solution to a much bigger problem… find about this problem and more importantly,  a solution.

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