Image source – cbs news.
There is a new designer drug in town that is wreaking havoc on users, causing problems for law enforcement, and is causing significant concern among healthcare professionals and addiction specialists. The drug, called flakka, has spread like wildfire in the state of Florida and it has popped up in Ohio and Texas. Flakka is new…in fact, it is BRAND NEW. The drug is so new there is little to no information available on federal drug information sites such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
The Skinny on Flakka
Also known on the street as gravel, the drug’s active main ingredient is called alpha-PVP, which is the chemical cousin of the compound cathinone, Cathinone is an amphetamine-like drug which is found in bath salts. While bath salts where banned by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2011, alpha-PVP has not been banned. The scary part? Flakka is, for the time being, legal.
The drug is extremely versatile: it can be snorted, injected, swallowed and can be discreetly hidden in an e-cigarette or vape. At a price tag of $5 a pop, it is easy to buy in bulk and provides users a cheap high that is extremely addictive, dangerous and deadly.
“According to the U.S Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Flakka cases are significantly increasing from no reported cases in 2010 to 85 cases in 2012, and now greater than 670 in 2014.”
The sudden surge in the use of flakka is most concerning to healthcare officials, addiction professionals and law enforcement. If the rapid spread of bath salts are any indication, it will be only a matter of time before flakka use becomes widespread.
What Does Flakka Do The Body?
Like bath salts, flakka is a type of stimulant and similar to cocaine and methamphatamine. Users of the drug will experience feelings of euphoria, enhanced alertness and wakefulness, and increased movement.
Like other stimulant drugs, flakka comes with a comedown and can leave users feeling fatigued or depressed to the degree they will continue to use the drug. With excessive use, flakka users will experience vivid hallucinations, extreme anxiety, paranoia and violent behavior.
The violent behavior that is associated with the drug comes from a syndrome called excited delirium. In this state, the body goes into hyperthermia, where overall body temperature reaches 105 degrees. In this state, users become psychotic and often rip off their clothes and run out into the street violently and have superhuman strength–which is similar to the effects of drugs such as angel dust.
When police are called in to restrain someone who is under the influence of flakka, it may take several officers to subdue them. If users do not receive immediate medical attention they may die.
Related: Articles About Synthetic Drugs
What Users Do While On Flakka
Over the past few weeks, several news stories featuring users who are under the influence of the drug have come front and center. The following clips detail the actions and outcomes of those who are under the influence of the drug:
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