What is Flakka? Detox and Treatment

Flakka

Flakka is a dangerous, synthetic stimulant. The most common flakka effects include increased strength, paranoia, and hyperstimulation. In some cases, flakka symptoms cause excited delirium and violent episodes. 

What is Flakka?

Flakka is still a relatively new synthetic drug. Typically, it is made from a synthetic version of a stimulant. The stimulant is amphetamine-like and in the cathinone class called alpha-PVP. 

Synthetic cathinones are human-made and chemically related to cathinone – a chemical substance found in the khat plant. Grown in Arabia and East Africa, people chew the leaves for their stimulant effects. 

Flakka, similar to bath salts, is generally consumed by:

  • Injection
  • Eating
  • Smoking
  • Vaporizing in e-cigs

A common street name for flakka is “gravel” because of its appearance. Typically found in crystal form, flakka is white or pink. The severity of flakka effects puts people at risk of injury or death.

What is Flakka and Its Effects?

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Hyperthermia
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Internal bleeding
  • Brain damage
  • Organ failure
  • Physical harm from a violent outburst

What is Flakka and the Uses of Synthetic Cathinones

Synthetic cathinones, such as flakka, are part of a drug group known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). Emerging in the 2000s, they mimic other illicit drugs such as cocaine, LSD, and ecstasy. Types of cathinones include:

  • Mephedrone
  • Methylone
  • Methcathinone
  • Bupropion
  • Buphedrone
What is Flakka

First discovered in 1963, alpha-PVP was first patented in 1967 as a central nervous system stimulant. Typically, stimulants such as these treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsy. A tablet was available in 2013 and gained popularity in 2014. However, it was quickly labeled a schedule 1 drug due to its high potential for misuse, overdose, and no medical value. 

Flakka Symptoms and The Potential for Addiction

It is thought that flakka became popular in South Florida. The explosive popularity became concerning because of the violent acts it was causing. For example, a college student unaware of flakka effects stabbed a couple to death and started eating the man’s face. 

In another case, a man was running down a main highway in nothing but his shoes. He stated people stole his clothes and were chasing him. Furthermore, he believed the only way to stop them was to get hit by a car. He is also thought to have consumed flakka. 

The first flakka effects are euphoria, focus and stimulation, an increased sex drive, and being overly social. But, when the high wears off, it leads to needing more to feel the same effects. Flakka effects can be very dangerous. For instance, many people on flakka have committed suicide. 

Flakka Effects 

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says flakka causes “excited delirium.” This condition causes hyperstimulation, hallucinations, paranoia, and increased strength. These flakka symptoms can lead to violent aggression and self-harm, leading to psychotic episodes. 

Other flakka effects on the body include:

  • Fever up to 104 degrees
  • Liver and renal failure
  • Hypertension
  • Narrowing of blood vessels
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Aneurysm
  • Death

What is Flakka and the Effects When Vaping?

Regardless of how a person consumes flakka, it has a high overdose risk. But, the fastest and easiest way to overdose is through vaping. For instance, a person who vapes flakka can’t measure how much they ingest. In addition, the drug overwhelms the body by entering the bloodstream too quickly.

Flakka symptoms of overdose include:

  • Heart problems
  • Agitation
  • Aggressive behaviors
  • Psychosis

What is the Difference Between Bath Salts and Flakka Symptoms?

What is Flakka and Its Effects

Bath salts and flakka are similar chemically and in their effects on users. A study published by The Scripts Research Institute found flakka and bath salts have the same potential for addiction. Bath salts typically have the same effects as flakka, such as psychosis and death. Both flakka and bath salts are labeled “not for human consumption” and generally sold as jewelry cleaner or plant food.

The Dangers of Flakka Symptoms and Addiction

In 2011, over 20,000 emergency room visits involved synthetic cathinones. In 2012, a Miami man stripped naked and ate a man’s face in broad daylight. When police ordered him to stop, he growled like a dog. It took four bullets to stop him. 

As a result, flakka become known as the “zombie drug.” The reason being that flakka effects cause users to lose touch with reality and eat people. Although flakka started in South Florida, it is spreading across the country. 

The Spread of Flakka Effects Across the U.S.

Ohio reports flakka mixed with opioids has been found in their neighborhoods. In 2019, Ohio said this combination killed at least three people in the state. Utah police also reported that in October 2019, they seized a package from the Netherlands. This package contained flakka, prescription drugs, and paraphernalia.

Teenage Use of Flakka

Flakka Symptoms

A 2019 study by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan reveals almost 1 percent of American teens have used flakka. In addition to these teens knowingly consuming flakka, over 19 percent used it more than 40 times. 

Flakka is often combined with the party drug Ecstasy. So, users may not know what they are taking. Some areas have a higher rate of flakka use in teens, such as Miami. Furthermore, Latinos have higher rates of use. 

Cost of Flakka Makes it Accessible

It’s hard to imagine that people consume flakka with all the symptoms and effects of use. But, affordability is the main reason people put themself at risk for flakka symptoms. At the same time, a gram of cocaine can cost upward of $80, a hit of flakka costs between $3 and $5. 

Besides flakka being cheap and obtainable, the high is more intense and lasts longer. The high from smoking cocaine can last up to 10 minutes while snorting it can last up to 30 minutes. However, flakka produces a high that lasts up to 5 hours. 

Flakka Effects and Strength

Because flakka can be a variety of harmful ingredients, flakka effects are unpredictable. It is also ten times stronger than cocaine. Sometimes, flakka can cause dissociative symptoms like with ketamine and heavy benzodiazepine use. 

When taken in small doses, flakka acts as a stimulant. In some users, it can also produce hallucinations. In high doses, flakka effects can mimic cocaine and meth, which causes delusions, twitching, and seizures. 

Flakkas Symptoms of Withdrawal

Synthetic cathinones such as flakka and bath salts are addictive and can cause withdrawal symptoms. Some withdrawal symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Paranoia
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders

In animal studies, rats became addicted to flakka and pushed the button to receive as much as possible. They were also more addicted to flakka than crystal meth. Flakka symptoms and effects are extremely dangerous, and users should seek professional treatment. 

Treatment Options for Flakka Addiction

Although flakka effects are unique, several treatment approaches can help build a life of recovery. Very little is known about flakka symptoms except what users talk about. However, a comprehensive treatment plan combing traditional and holistic therapies can have a positive impact on recovery.

Detox

The first step for some people who use flakka might be detox. This step in recovery rids the body of dangerous substances. Detox is essential so that physical and psychological healing can begin. 

When detoxing, flakka effects may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Suicidal thoughts and ideations
  • Seizures
  • Arrhythmias

Again, little is know about flakka effects short and long-term. However, detoxing under medical supervision will ensure the safety of your health and wellbeing. 

Therapy

Regardless of what substance is being misused, addiction is a challenging disease. It affects one’s mental, physical, and emotional health. After detoxing from flakka effects, healing through therapy can begin. Therapy helps work through issues that both led to addiction and developed because of addiction. 

Psychotherapy

Individual therapy is an essential part of recovery. It involves one-on-one sessions between a member and a therapist. In therapy, members discuss their personal and private challenges. The therapist works with members to further identify triggers and underlying causes of substance use disorder. 

Behavioral Therapy

Addiction and specifically flakka symptoms dramatically impact behaviors. For this reason, recovery focuses on changing a member’s behaviors. For instance, cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on recognizing unhealthy thought patterns and replacing them with healthy and realistic thoughts. 

Holistic Therapy

Holistic therapy heals the person as a whole. True recovery and wellness begin from within. And, holistic therapy focuses on healing the body, mind, and spirit. By using alternative therapies such as yoga and journaling, holistic therapies promote self-healing. 

Examples of holistic therapies include:

  • Yoga
  • Mindfulness
  • Journaling
  • Nutritional therapy

Flakka and Co-Occurring Conditions

Individuals who misuse flakka are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders. The sooner a person seeks treatment, the lower their risk of developing:

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depressive disorders

Get Treatment for Flakka Symptoms and Flakka Effects at Sana Lake Recovery

An addiction to flakka is extremely dangerous. For instance, one hit can cause an overdose. Above all, there’s no telling what it’s mixed with. If you continue to use flakka, the downward spiral can put you and others in harm’s way. But, treatment at Sana Lake Recovery can help you rebuild a life of recovery and fulfillment. 

Start Your Recovery Journey Today!

If you or someone you love is struggling with any substance use disorder, recovery is possible. Our personalized treatment plans help you make peace with your past and look forward to the future. What are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and contact us today. 

References:

https://www.scripps.edu/newsandviews/e_20150518/flakka.html

https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/addiction/news/20150416/new-synthetic-drug-flakka-triggers-crazed-behaviors#1

https://www.dea.gov/factsheets/flakka-alpha-pvp