Welcome to the beginning of your journey to recovery from flakka, one of the newest drugs to hit the streets. It’s a dangerous, man-made stimulant that is extremely potent and can absolutely kill you. Also, it’s addictive, and can cost as little as $3.00.
Flakka is a designer drug, which as a term has changed through the years. Originally, as far back as in the 1920s, any substance created to mimic the effects of an already existing drug was called a designer drug. This is still true, and basically, a designer drug is a man-made copy of something already on the market, whether legal or not. However, more recently, things have changed for the worse.
Creators of designer drugs will use ingredients not normally used in medicine. As of about 2005 and ever since, something called cathinone has been popularly used in designer drugs, especially bath salts. It is a derivative of the khat shrub, native to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Consider this quote from the 2001 volume of Drugs and Alcohol Today: “Mephedrone and the cathinones marked somewhat of a turning point for designer drugs, turning them from little known, ineffective substances sold in head shops to powerful substances able to compete with classical drugs on the black market.”
Flakka is a synthetic cathinone, officially called alpha-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone, and otherwise known as alpha-PVP. It’s a stimulant, and it mimics the effects of both meth and cocaine. Flakka can be swallowed, injected, snorted or smoked. Another nickname for it aside from flakka is ‘gravel,’ due to its chunky yet powdery appearance.
The deadly drug originated in South Florida, where it continues to take its toll. In 2015, at least 29 deaths in Broward County alone were caused by flakka over a period of less than two months. The drug killed 63 people in the Fort Lauderdale area in just 16 months last year. Too many instances of bizarre behavior linked to flakka use have occurred to even list here.
This is a comprehensive article that takes you through the signs and risks of flakka abuse, and will show you how to recognize abuse signs and risks in order to help someone in need. We’ll also cover what withdrawal from flakka can be like, and finally what The Haven Detox has to offer in the way of detoxification from flakka, the extremely important first step toward recovery.
If you wish only to read about our detoxification process itself, please scroll down and begin reading at the section titled About Our Flakka Detox Program. Otherwise, please continue to read on. The best of luck to you, but with help from The Haven, luck is something you may not need! Our comprehensive staff and top-notch doctors are ready, willing and able to help you today.
Signs of Flakka Abuse
It’s important to recognize the signs of flakka abuse, and also to know that any use is abuse. Just because the drug may have been obtained legally, (purchased under the disguise of something else), flakka is extremely dangerous. (Please note that legal purchase under the disguise of other products has been cracked down on and is becoming more and more rare nowadays for designer drugs).
The main signs of flakka abuse are just like those of cocaine or, to a lesser degree, methamphetamine. Often, flakka is used as an ingredient in bath salts, and when this is the case, erratic and sometimes violent behavior is not uncommon with use. Flakka is a strong stimulant, and its reactions in humans are still not very well understood.
Signs of flakka abuse:</3>
- High level of alertness
- Unusual talkativeness
- Bizarre and/or irrational behavior
- Sharp increase in body temperature
- Extreme confusion
Risks of Flakka Abuse
Flakka is considered to be even more dangerous than cocaine or bath salts. This is because dosage control is much harder to manage with flakka than with most other drugs. It’s all too easy to overdose on flakka.
The risks associated with flakka abuse are severe, but they are also not fully discovered scientifically. The drug is so new, and a designer drug, that very little research has been done. Yes, the risks are quite similar to those of other stimulants, such as cocaine or meth, but the scientific community knows all about those substances. Flakka is a new player in the game of drugs.
“Longtime addicts who have tried flakka, they’re terrified of it. They can’t think straight, they’re paranoid, they think people are chasing them. One guy thought he was surrounded by German shepherds that were attacking him,” said Don Maines, a treatment counselor who works with the Broward County Sheriff’s office, to the Sun-Sentinel.
According to the article, flakka has caused several other instances of bizarre behavior in southern Florida. In Lake Worth, a man on flakka was naked with a gun on a rooftop. In Riviera Beach, a man on flakka attacked an 82-year-old woman. In Fort Lauderdale, a man on flakka attempted to kick in the doors to a police station. Another Fort Lauderdale man using the drug attempted to jump over the security fence at the same police station and impaled himself because he thought murderers were after him. They were not.
The risks of flakka abuse:
- Arrhythmia (significant changes in heart rate)
- Heart attack
- Cardiomyopathy (heart damage)
- Kidney damage
- Muscle atrophy
- Death from cardiac complications
The long-term effects of flakka abuse are not even published yet. The drug is simply too new. Which is all the more reason to detoxify yourself from it now, or to assist someone you know in detoxification. Doctors do know that the risks of flakka can rival those of crystal meth and/or cocaine.
Recognizing Flakka Abuse & Stepping In
There is no way to safely use flakka. Just because something was (once) sold legally does not mean it is safe. If you or someone you know is abusing flakka, now IS DEFINITELY the time to step in, intervene, and being the process of helping. One of the scariest things in the world is the unknown, and the long-term effects of flakka use are just that: unknown.
Of course, you can step in and help yourself too. As with all illicit substances, abuse can soon lead to addiction. One dose of flakka could be fatal. What high could possibly be worth that?
Stepping in and intervening when it comes to someone we know has a problem is never an easy thing to do. We love these people, and we do not want to hurt them, but we love them enough to know they are hurting themselves, and perhaps at a deadly rate. In such extreme cases, professional intervention is recommended. When it comes to trying to help someone you love, keep these tips in mind:
- Do not call the person an addict or even accuse them of being an abuser.
- Do not demand the person seeks help. Simply state your concerns.
- Encourage the possibility of help, but do not be forceful.
- Maintain the rapport you already have with the person. Acting differently will likely arouse suspicion.
Withdrawal from Flakka
Flakka is perhaps the newest drug of abuse in the entire country, and there are plenty of unanswered questions about its effects. It is known that flakka most closely copies the effects of meth, and also meth’s withdrawal symptoms. Flakka is also known to cause intense psychological side effects. An abuser of flakka, whoever he or she is off of the drug, is now a danger to him or herself, and to others. Therefore, it is absolutely crucial that a person’s withdrawal from flakka be in the hands of professional caretakers. (The Haven Detox specializes in such supervised withdrawals).
Flakka withdrawal symptoms include:
- Extreme irritation
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
To reiterate, these symptoms are much more likely to occur, and much more likely to be worse, if an addict stops using without help. The Haven can provide all of the help necessary for a flakka addict to begin the path to recovery. The first step, as mentioned, is detoxification, commonly called detox, which safely and effectively removes all traces of flakka from the body. If there is a manual on how to provide detox from cocaine, we here at The Haven Detox may well have written it.
About Our Flakka Detox Program
Flakka is a designer drug using a core component found in other drugs known as “bath salts”. It provides the user with increased energy and a sense of euphoria, similar to that of meth or other amphetamine-based drugs. Flakka is typically found in a white and chalky-colored “rock” form or crystalized. It can be snorted, swallowed, injected or smoked, making it extremely versatile. The most concerning part is that it can even be vaporized using electronic cigarettes, allowing it to be used completely in public with no one the wiser. The difficult part is controlling its wide array of disturbing side effects.
Treating Flakka Addiction
There is some physical withdrawal from flakka, but the psychological repercussions of using the drug could linger for a long time. There is very little information about available treatment for a flakka addiction. Not much is known about what alpha-PVP does to the brain and the body since there is yet to be thorough research compiled on this new substance. Of course, as with any other substance addiction problem, what spurred the individual towards drug seeking behavior will have to be analyzed with a psychological approach.
Since using the drug will deprive the brain of the normal dopamine function, cessation from alpha-PVP may result in severe depression and suicidal ideations. Addicts being treated for flakka addiction may require a high level of care for an extended period of time. As cognition returns in such a patient, the results of their bizarre behavior while under the influence will come to light. Often they will be unable to recall what happened while experiencing such a powerful high. Learning of their disturbing actions while they were using flakka may also be unsettling to them. These addicts will be very sick individuals and much attention for them will be a necessity in treating their disease.
Flakka Detox: What to Expect
Because Flakka works directly with the brain and nervous system, recovery often works in a two-tier approach: treatment for the addiction and alleviating the lasting effects as much as possible. Flakka’s physical ramifications during detoxification complicate recovery because most rehab centers do not offer medical support for health issues outside of addiction. Medical detoxification programs such as those offered by The Haven Detox may be ideal. Medical monitoring and treatment for the lasting physical ailments caused by Flakka use are available at The Haven Detox
Flakka originated in south Florida, and so did The Haven Detox. If there is any facility in the country fully equipped to deal with a flakka addiction, it’s us. We’re approved by the Joint Commission, and we are the best team to help you triumph over your flakka addiction.
Designer drugs are like lottery tickets, except that rare ‘winner’ will be an overdose. Because there is little to no research that exists, it’s a gamble every time someone uses the drug. Please, if you or someone you know is abusing flakka, act now. We are standing by.