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flakkaThe synthetic drug known as flakka is not a new drug but rather a newer version of a drug known as bath salts. It is however more dangerous than previous version, causing people to behave extremely erratic and often violently. The pandemic of users in states such as Florida has caused serious concerns.

What is Flakka?

Known scientifically as alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP), flakka is synthetic cathinone. When sold, it comes as a white crystal with a foul smell. Users eat, inject, snort or vaporize it. When it is vaporized, the effects are sudden, due to the quick delivery to the brain and have the highest risk of overdose. The substance causes a state described as “excited delirium” that leads to violent behavior and self-injury. The excited delirium state also causes severe paranoia, hallucinations and hyperstimulation.

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Signs of Flakka Abuse What are the Signs of Flakka Abuse?

If a person has taken the drug, there are several symptoms and signs that they experience depending on the quantities that were taken.

Behavioral symptoms:

  • loss of inhibition
  • psychomotor agitation
  • violent outbursts
  • bizarre behavior

Physical symptoms:

  • muscle fiber breakdown
  • increased strength
  • rapid heartbeat
  • elevated body temperature

Psychological symptoms:

  • delusions
  • excited delirium
  • paranoia
  • inability to make sense of their surroundings
  • enhanced alertness
  • impaired judgment

Finding Help

Many people are not aware that they are being given the drug. It can be spiked in a drink or put into a rolled cigarette. The experience is described by many as the scariest thing they have ever experienced and finding help for the abuse or the drug can save your or a loved one’s life.

Rehab centers are able to treat an addiction to the drug. Addiction can form quickly to flakka and alone it may be very difficult to stop. Since it is similar to bath salts, rehab centers are equipped to deal with the addiction through behavioral therapy and alternative treatments such as equine therapy. Detox can also be performed safely under the supervision of rehab staff.

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  1. Abuse, N. I. (2015, April 06). “Flakka” (alpha-PVP). Retrieved October 03, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/emerging-trends/flakka-alpha-pvp
  2. Alanez, T. (2015, August 11). Broward County leads the nation in flakka cases, DEA statistics show. Retrieved October 03, 2016, from http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-flakka-broward-epicenter-20150802-story.html

Last updated on April 7th, 2017 at 07:31 pm