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Flakka drug can create paranoia and hallucinations that may lead to violent aggression and self-injury.  In addition, overdose and death have been linked to the use of this drug.

New psychoactive substances are being used as drugs and appear to be quite popular nowadays.  Due to their specific properties, these drugs create unique experiences for intoxicated people.  Synthetic cathinones are the most common compounds in these new drugs.

Among them, alpha-pyrrolidopentadione (alpha-PVP), or “flakka” (street name), is one of the most famous cathinone-designed drugs.  Similar to other synthetic cathinone drugs, alpha-PVP can effectively inhibit norepinephrine and dopamine transmitters.

The adverse reactions of alpha-PVP mainly include mania, tachycardia, and hallucinations—an increasing number of admissions to emergency wards due to the consequences of their use.  

This work mainly summarizes the history, synthesis, pharmacology, toxicology, structure-activity relationship, metabolism, clinical process, and health risks, poisoning and death, forensic toxicology, and legal status of alpha-PVP.  [1]

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Flakka (alpha-PVP)

Flakka (alpha-PVP) is a dangerous drug comparable to the street drug generally known as bath salts.  This drug is typically white or pink in crystal form.  Another famous street name of this drug may include “gravel” and “zombie drug.”

It makes people move like zombies, jerking and contorting terrifyingly and inhumanly.  Because when somebody takes too much flakka, the muscle fibers in their body begin to dissolve into the bloodstream.  As a result, their bodies start moving uncontrollably.  Sometimes, their heads will drop down below their shoulders;  other times, their limbs will stiffen and shoot out.  It’s like watching a marionette dance as its strings are cut or, perhaps, a glitch in video games.  [2]

The drug can be snorted, smoked, injected, or taken orally.  The action of alpha-PVP appears to block the reuptake of norepinephrine and dopamine.  The reuptake process is susceptible to drug manipulation.  By blocking the action of serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SERTs), the amount of serotonin in the synaptic cleft increases.  In other words, it makes your brain chemicals imbalance and causes harmful effects.

Flakka Drug Effects

These substances identify as having no medical purpose, being extremely addictive, hazardous to use; unable to be used safely even under the supervision of a physician, and likely to cause physical or psychological dependency in those who misuse them for a long period.

According to NIDA and the DEA, substances like flakka are often coming from Pakistan and China.

Because this drug is so popular with the younger generation, flakka manufacturing labs have opened in the states. However,

  • The process of manufacturing flakka is not verified in any way
  • Ingredients differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and within each manufacturer’s lab
  • Users have no idea what drugs they are purchasing
  • Other substances that may be added are:
    • Ecstasy (MDMA)
    • Crystal meth (methamphetamine)
    • Other synthetic cathinones such as Methacathinone (MCAT), Mephedrone, Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)
  • Dealers may add gelatin and sugar may to make it look and taste like candy

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Flakka Drug Side Effects

  • Immediate effects of euphoria, feelings of invulnerability, extreme stimulation, and a loss of inhibitions
  • Irregular and increased heart rate increased blood pressure and increased potential for heart attack or stroke
  • Increased body temperature, increased perspiration, and increased potential for dehydration
  • Respiratory distress or renal failure
  • Muscle spasms, tremors, and seizures
  • Brain swelling may occur to some users
  • Issues with insomnia and a loss of appetite
  • Increased anxiety, panic attacks, aggressive behavior, self-mutilation, and suicidality
  • Psychosis (experiencing hallucinations and or delusions) and severe delirium
  • Delirium occurring as a result of flakka may initially be hallucinations, hyperactivity, confusion, and disorientation. However, some people also develop a hypoactive delirium, often called a “zombie-like state,” where the person is catatonic, not responsive, and may hallucinate, delusional, or significantly confused.
  • Overdose and death
  • Marked neurological damage in chronic users

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“$5 Insanity”

The price of enough flakka to affect you, as much as $80 worth of cocaine.  You will trade your life into addiction that can cause the following:

  • It can stop the sensation of pain
  • It created a pandemic of dangerous, paranoid streakers
  • People overdosing on flakka aren’t just violent; they’re entirely fearless
  • Flakka gives users super strength
  • It makes users suicidal

Flakka activates the fight-or-flight response in a person’s brain, often shifting them irrationally violent.  And at the same time, it causes paranoid, delusional fantasies.  This causes a lot of stress in our brain as it will fight to function correctly but will hardly do so.

It has made people kill, plus flakka rewires brain chemistry.  Users have no control over their thoughts.  They can’t control their actions, and it seems universal that they think someone is hunting them.

The drug is ten times more potent than cocaine, so strong that using more than 0.1 grams can cause an overdose.  More than 0.1 grams of flakka results in body temperatures as high as 41 degrees Celsius (106 °F).

You can still buy it online.  The United States government has managed to almost eliminate the supply in the US, but unfortunately, it hasn’t gone away.

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Flakka Drug Addiction Treatment

Most users are unaware that they’re taking this drug, usually in a party setting, just like ecstasy.  What is even more horrifying is that you are using drugs with unknown ingredients.

Many flakka drugs come from China and are sold over the Dark Web to dealers in the US. Dealers vary from college kids needing extra cash to street gangs exploiting younger children to trade to their friends.  Because one can buy flakka for as little as three dollars a dose, the target market is typically young, poor people looking for an easy high. Users are not always poor, however, and sellers are not always ill-intentioned or even aware of the dangers of flakka abuse.

Treatment of flakka users is to suppress and relieve symptoms.  Therapy aims to forcefully decrease the temperature, avoid physical problems, and offset very high heat for hyperthermal users.  However, hyperthermia also places the patient at risk for dehydration, making rehydration necessary.  Moreover, the safety of the patient and those around them is predominant, playing a significant role in treatment.  Therefore, some users must be restrained pharmacologically if destructive behavior is present, and mechanical restraints are often required.

What To Expect During Flakka Addiction Treatment?

Using antipsychotics to treat flakka symptoms is controversial because of efficacy concerns, but one can use them to manage symptoms of paranoia.  Unfortunately, there are no known antidotes for flakka, and nothing is available to counter its effects.

During treatment, it must support all body systems affected by the drug, and the patient is at a high risk of complications until completion of the acute phase.  Paranoia can persist once the patient is more stable, and medication management with antipsychotics is always mandatory.  [3]

This drug is both dangerous and deadly.  Prevent it from entering your home.  For more information on flakka drug or to start a drug treatment plan, please call We Level Up New Jersey.

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Sources:

[1] Flakka (alpha-PVP) – US Drug Enforcement Administration
[2] Flakka Zombie Drug – https://www.rn.com/headlines-in-health/flakka-zombie-drug/
[3] https://www.nursingcenter.com/ce_articleprint?an=00060867-201810000-00005 – The Explosion of a New Designer Drug, Flakka: Implications for Practice