Flakka Drug Abuse and Addiction
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Flakka is a dangerous synthetic stimulant drug. Nicknamed the Zombie drug, flakka began to catch on some years ago in Florida. Since then the drug has found its way across the U.S. This cheap stimulant is more potent than meth or cocaine. It can cause severe physical and mental health effects. Read on to learn more about this deadly substance.
What is Flakka
Flakka is the more potent cousin of “bath salts.” Both drugs are synthetic derivatives of the khat plant called cathinone. Flakka is composed of alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (a-PVP) and is listed as a DEA Schedule I drug.
Flakka is a psychoactive stimulant that made its debut in the U.S. in 2012. By 2015, 80 deaths in Florida were caused by flakka. On the street flakka is often referred to as Gravel, and is also used interchangeably with “bath salts,” or MVDP. While these drugs are similar, flakka is a more powerful version of the now banned bath salts.
Flakka is a central nervous system stimulant that mirrors the effects of cocaine. The foul-smelling substance usually has a crystalized form that resembles rock salt and is white or pinkish in color.
The drug can be smoked, injected, snorted, vaporized, or eaten. The intense high can last for hours. Flakka can be used as filler in illicit drugs, like MDMA or ketamine, and customers then risk its dangerous effects. Flakka tends to be used by teens or young adults and low-income individuals due to its affordability.
What are the Effects of Flakka?
Flakka is a fast-acting substance that quickly causes stimulant effects. The strength of these effects varies depending on the amount of the drug and the method of delivery. The immediate effects can include euphoria, hyperactivity, and heightened alertness among with negative effects. These include:
- Aggressive behavior
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Loss of inhibition
- Psychomotor agitation
- Increased strength
- Poor judgment
- Excited delirium
- Panic attacks
- Muscle spasms
Long-term affects from continued use of flakka are very serious. These include:
- Kidney failure
- Mental illness
- Severe paranoia
- Cardiac arrest
- Liver failure
- Muscle damage
- Suicide attempts
During a flakka overdose the following signs or symptoms may occur:
- Extreme rise in body temperature, even as high as 106 degrees
- Erratic behavior
- Violent rages
- Jerking muscle movements
- Paranoid behavior
- Excited delirium
- Internal bleeding
- Organ failure
There have been many news reports of extreme flakka effects. These include violent rages that resulted in trauma, unintended injuries, and even death. Bizarre behavior and extreme agitation are often reported when someone is high on flakka.
Signs of Flakka Drug Addiction
With continued use, flakka blocks the uptake of the dopamine and norepinephrine transporter proteins in the brain. The brain becomes flooded with dopamine and serotonin. Because of its affect on the brain’s reward system, flakka is often abused and can lead to addiction.
Not only is flakka a dangerous recreational drug, it also has a high potential for addiction. Tolerance to the drug builds quickly, causing the user to need higher and more frequent doses to feel a similar high. Once addicted, users begin to experience intense cravings, similar to that of a meth user.
Signs of addiction include:
- Obsessing over flakka
- Spending increasing amounts of time and money on the flakka habit
- Neglecting family, school, or work duties
- Experiencing flakka cravings
- Beginning to feel you can’t function without flakka
- Becoming socially isolated
- Hiding the drug from others, lying about using flakka
- Trying to quit flakka but can’t
- Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when it wears off
When you see these signs it is critical to get help to overcome the flakka addiction.
Treatment for Flakka Drug Abuse and Addiction
To break this cycle of addiction it is important to enter into a treatment program. The professionals will help you make changes in your thought patterns with CBT and other therapies. Treatment includes:
The first step of recovery from flakka involves the detox and withdrawal phase of treatment. When quitting the drug, you will experience the flakka come down, or withdrawal symptoms. These might include:
- Memory loss
- Low mood
As you go through the detox period, the staff will monitor withdrawal symptoms and offer treatments to help reduce discomfort.
Once the chemicals have been cleared from the system the individual will be stable enough to begin participating in therapy. The program helps you adopt new thought and behavior patterns to overcome the flakka addiction. Addiction treatment involves:
- Therapy. Evidence-based psychotherapy sessions offer one-on-one support to help guide the person toward new thought patterns.
- Group support. Group therapy allows small groups to gather and discuss their experiences and emotions about their addiction recovery.
- Twelve Step. Rehabs include 12-step themes to guide the process of coming to terms with an addiction and rising above it.
- Addiction education. It’s been found that when people learn about how drugs affect their brain chemistry they will avoid the behaviors.
- Recovery skills. The rehab will teach new coping skills that will provide tools to access in recovery. Also, the individuals will make a relapse prevention plan.
- Life skills. Someone with a flakka drug addiction may need some help getting employment or returning to school after treatment.
Flakka abuse and addiction can have a serious impact on a person’s health and life. Fortunately, there is a pathway out of this through professional treatment and ongoing therapy.
LifeSync Malibu Provides Treatment for Flakka Drug Abuse
LifeSync Malibu is a physician owned and operated premier recovery program located in beautiful Malibu, California. With a full range of addiction treatment services in a compassionate setting, LifeSync Malibu can help you overcome a flakka problem. Begin your journey back to wellness today. Contact the LifeSync team at (866) 491-4426.