What is Flakka?
Alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone (Alpha-PVP) otherwise known as “Flakka,” is a synthetic designer drug classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a Schedule I drug. In China, Alpha-PVP is made from synthetic chemicals that prevent dopamine and serotonin from entering the brain. Dopamine and serotonin help balance neurotransmitters which affect a person’s mood. Instead, when using Flakka, this causes an abundance of neurotransmitters in the brain which causes the extreme highs and can lead to unconsciousness in some people.
Flakka has an unpleasant smell that is made from pink or white grains giving it a common name of “gravel.” It is similar to amphetamines and has been compared to crack cocaine, bath salts, and methamphetamines.
Flakka vs. Bath Salts
It has been claimed the Flakka drug is more dangerous than bath salts even though studies have shown they are comparable in many aspects. Both Flakka and bath salts have the same active ingredients made from Alpha-PVP, which is a synthetic cathinone. This substance is developed from an African and Middle Eastern khat plant which is often used as a stimulant and has the same effects as amphetamines. Even though the stimulant used in both Flakka and bath salts is from a tree, it is far from being natural. Instead, it is manufactured in China.
Short- and Long-Term Effects
The Flakka drug is like other stimulants including cocaine and amphetamines, therefore, the short-term effects are similar too. These include:
- An increase in heart rate or heart palpitations
- Blood pressure increase
- Aggressive behavior
The coming down effects of Flakka can include depression and fatigue. Typically, users continue to use Flakka to reduce the adverse comedown effects, and this usually leads to substance abuse. Once someone has developed a tolerance to a drug, they will often begin using larger amounts to continue the same high they previously felt, which can result in dangerous risks including overdose and possible death.
The long-term effects of Flakka have yet to be established; this is because it is a recent synthetic drug and enough research has not been conducted. However, the research already done proves Flakka can be toxic to a person’s kidneys and may cause renal failure.
Taking high doses of Flakka can cause a person’s body temperature to rise, and this can cause muscle breakdown and kidney damage. Typically, the immediate effects can be similar to those of crystal meth and cocaine.
The Flakka High
Flakka floods the brain with dopamine giving a euphoric sensation. Those who take lower doses tend to have a feeling of euphoria and the need for unnecessary movement. Over the years, it is apparent that Flakka causes paranoia and hallucinations along with muscle cramps, twitching, and seizures if consumed in higher doses. Those who have been found using Flakka are often disorientated and state that other beings are chasing them when in reality they are hallucinating. Hallucinations can cause a person to become more aggressive as adrenaline rises and apparently gives them super-human strength. As a result, they can be a danger to themselves and others around them.
How does Flakka affect the body?
Called “five-dollar insanity” by some, Flakka causes what is known as “excited delirium.” As a user continually uses Flakka and increases the amount they are using, the effects on the body can be disturbing. Producing hallucinations, paranoia, hyperstimulation, higher body temperature and in extreme cases very violent actions as well as being linked to some suicides.
Flakka can be fatal to some users, even with their first-time experience as depression is a side effect. As paranoia and adrenaline increases, individuals become more of a danger to themselves.
Treatment for Flakka Addiction
Since Flakka can resemble cocaine and methamphetamines, the high can last for quite some time. Once the high begins to go away, the user then begins to experience the withdrawal effects. Flakka addiction is new and not completely documented. However, a research conducted on rats shows Flakka addiction is similar to meth and bath salts which are both highly addictive.
Research is showing that Flakka is one of the worst and quickest drugs to become addicted to. People suffering from side effects of an overdose are seen in the emergency room. There are currently 24 documented deaths related to Flakka.
Addiction treatment for Flakka will include detoxification in the beginning. This will allow the withdrawal process to begin, which can be difficult for some users to manage on their own. That is why it is important for addicts to seek professional help. The withdrawal symptoms can include fatigue, mood changes, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.
Here at Serenity Acres, our medical professional team supervises patients and provides psychological counseling. Once detox has been completed, the patient has a wide range of therapy programs including counseling and cognitive therapy. Participating in these different types of treatments allows you to recognize the underlying reason you began abusing drugs. Our professional team will also help you find and understand the important aspects of your life and family relationships.
Long-term sobriety comes from completing a full rehab treatment program, and this can also help prevent relapse in your future. If you or someone you know is under the influence of Flakka or some other substance, contact us today. You are not alone, and we are here to help you.