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What is Flakka?

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What is Flakka?
Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Mohsin Ali, MD

Dr. Mohsin Ali MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Trained in Syracuse NY, he has worked in Tennessee for the last sixteen years.

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Flakka, known scientifically as alpha-PVP, is an addictive synthetic stimulant that’s recently emerged on the scene. Resembling crystal-like bath salts, it can be ingested in various ways, including snorting, swallowing, or smoking. The drug’s unpredictable impact and high overdose risk have raised significant health alarms. Educating oneself on flakka’s risks is crucial for prevention and recovery.

For individuals grappling with flakka addiction in Chattanooga, TN, Iris Wellness Group stands ready to offer hope and assistance. Our treatments are rooted in compassion and backed by scientific evidence, paving the way for healing and a more fulfilling future. Reach out to us at 423-401-9630 or fill out our contact form for details on our drug rehab and begin the journey to recovery.

What is Flakka Drug?

Flakka falls under the category of synthetic cathinones, man-made stimulants inspired by the naturally occurring substance found in the Khat plant from East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Traditionally, locals have chewed khat leaves for their stimulating effects. However, the synthetic counterparts, including alpha-PVP, have been flagged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse as hazardous substances.

These synthetic cathinones are often sold looking similar to cocaine, in crystal form, and colloquially known as “gravel” among users seeking a euphoric experience. Available in either white or pink, alpha-PVP can lead to fatal outcomes if consumed in excessive quantities. It’s recognized by authorities as a substance that frequently leads to addiction, emphasizing the importance of seeking treatment for those struggling with dependency on this drug.

What’s The Difference Between Flakka And Bath Salts?

Flakka and Bath Salts are closely related in their chemical composition, producing effects that are almost indistinguishable to users. The key substance in Bath Salts, Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), shares much with Flakka, except for the absence of a specific chemical structure known as the 3,4-methylenedioxy motif in Flakka. Research from Scripps Research highlights that the addiction potential for both substances is comparably high.

Both substances can induce effects like heightened libido, vivid hallucinations, severe panic attacks, intense paranoia, and a boost in sociability. Misusing these substances through smoking, snorting, injecting, or oral consumption can have fatal consequences, including overdose and death. Flakka and Bath Salts often appear on the market under deceptive labels such as “not for human consumption,” marketed under benign-sounding names like “plant food” or “jewelry cleaner,” masking their true dangers.

Dangers of Flakka

Flakka poses significant dangers. This synthetic drug has been at the center of numerous overdose incidents, fatalities linked to overdoses, and instances of aggressive behavior. Key risks associated with flakka include:

  • Intense Paranoia: Users may experience severe paranoia and vivid hallucinations, which can lead to unpredictable, often violent behavior, including risks of self-harm and suicide.
  • Overdose Potential: Due to its high potency, flakka carries a high risk of overdose, which can be fatal or cause serious health issues like seizures, kidney failure, and further life-threatening conditions.
  • Addiction: Flakka’s highly addictive nature can lead to rapid development of dependence, with withdrawal manifesting as severe depression, anxiety, and other distressing symptoms.
  • Health Complications: Use of flakka can lead to critical health problems, such as cardiac arrest, neurological damage, and profound depression.
  • Risky Behaviors: Individuals under the influence of flakka might partake in dangerous activities, including impaired driving or unsafe sexual practices.

The severe potential outcomes of flakka use underscore the urgency for those affected to seek immediate assistance. If you or someone close is battling with addiction to flakka, reaching out for help is a vital step towards recovery.

Signs and Symptoms of Flakka Addiction

Flakka addiction manifests through a variety of signs and symptoms that affect behavior, physical health, cognitive function, and emotional well-being. Understanding these indicators can help identify Flakka abuse:

Behavioral Signs of Flakka Addiction

  • Loss of inhibition
  • Elevated levels of activity or stimulation
  • Erratic and unpredictable actions
  • Risk-taking behaviors
  • Sudden, unexplained aggression
  • Restlessness and increased physical activity

Physical Signs of Flakka Addiction

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Muscle breakdown
  • Unexpected boosts in physical strength

Cognitive Signs of Flakka Addiction

  • Intense paranoia
  • Excessive alertness
  • Impaired decision-making
  • Feelings of detachment from reality
  • False beliefs or delusions
  • Confusion and disorientation

Psychosocial Signs of Flakka Addiction

  • Severe mood fluctuations
  • Increased agitation and annoyance

These symptoms highlight the profound impact Flakka can have on an individual’s life. Recognizing these signs is the first step toward seeking help and treatment for Flakka addiction, which is essential for recovery and returning to a healthier life.

Effects of Flakka Abuse

Flakka, closely related to bath salts and sharing similarities with methamphetamines, triggers a potent high that has attracted recreational users despite its dangers. Those who use flakka may encounter a range of immediate effects, including:

  • Enhanced alertness
  • Increased libido
  • Vivid hallucinations
  • Intense sensation of euphoria
  • Immediate “rush” of pleasure

However, the allure of these initial effects is overshadowed by the risk of severe and lasting health consequences. Prolonged use of flakka can lead to:

  • Accelerated heart rate and palpitations
  • Chest pain (angina)
  • Elevated body temperature (hyperthermia)
  • Dilated pupils (mydriasis)
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Constriction of blood vessels
  • Risk of seizures

The long-term impact of flakka use can be devastating, potentially resulting in:

  • Mental health issues such as psychosis
  • Profound paranoia and distrust
  • Significant damage to the central nervous system
  • Breakdown of muscle tissue
  • Failure of organs
  • Aggressive and violent behavior
  • Chronic cardiovascular conditions, like persistent hypertension

The severity of these side effects underscores the importance of seeking help for flakka abuse. If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms, it’s critical to get help immediately for necessary medical intervention.

Signs That Someone is Using Flakka?

Recognizing the signs of Flakka use is crucial for providing timely support and intervention. Flakka, a potent synthetic stimulant similar to bath salts, carries a high risk of overdose, with even minimal amounts posing a significant threat to life.

Observing specific behavioral and physical changes can help identify someone struggling with Flakka. The impact of this substance on individuals is profound, leading to noticeable signs of distress and altered behavior.

Key signs of Flakka use include:

  • Excessive chattiness or communication
  • Noticeable rise in body temperature
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Acting irrationally or unpredictably
  • Decline in work or academic performance
  • An unusually heightened state of awareness
  • Extreme restlessness or activity
  • Displays of aggression or hostility
  • Tendencies towards violent actions

These symptoms, as outlined by the Drug Enforcement Administration, highlight the significant effect Flakka can have on a person’s demeanor and overall health. Recognizing these signs is the first step towards helping someone in need. If you or someone close shows these signs of Flakka influence, call Iris Wellness Group to being your Flakka addictiont treatment in Chattanooga, TN today.

Flakka Addiction

The allure of Flakka, despite its well-documented dangers, often comes down to its cost-effectiveness. Cocaine, for instance, might set someone back $80 per gram, a price out of reach for many, including college students, individuals experiencing homelessness, and those with limited income. In stark contrast, Flakka is priced between $3 to $5 per dose, making it an affordable, albeit risky, alternative. The drug not only comes cheaper but offers a longer-lasting high, extending up to five hours, compared to the fleeting effects of Cocaine.

Flakka’s potency and the unpredictability of its effects add to its danger. Reported to be over ten times stronger than Cocaine, Flakka’s composition may vary, sometimes including elements that induce dissociative states similar to those experienced with Ketamine or sedatives like Benzodiazepines.

At lower doses, Flakka acts as a stimulant, providing feelings of euphoria and increased alertness, while higher doses can lead to hallucinations, twitching, delusions, and seizures, mimicking the intense effects of Cocaine and Methamphetamine.

The addictive nature of synthetic cathinones, the family of drugs to which Flakka belongs, is underscored by withdrawal symptoms that include anxiety, tremors, paranoia, depression, and sleep disturbances. Animal research has shown a remarkable propensity for addiction to Flakka, with studies indicating that rats would compulsively self-administer the drug, displaying a preference even over highly addictive substances like crystal meth.

Given its high risk of addiction and serious health implications, individuals who have engaged in Flakka use are strongly encouraged to seek professional treatment to navigate the path to recovery safely.

Flakka Withdrawal

Flakka has emerged as a low-cost option for those chasing a high, easily accessible despite its classification by the US Drug Enforcement Administration as a hazardous substance. Users who consume Flakka, whether through ingestion, snorting, vaporizing, or injection, may face severe psychological effects, including paranoia and hallucinations.

Quitting Flakka poses a significant challenge for many, primarily due to the body’s dependence on the drug, leading to a range of distressing withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms not only cause physical discomfort but can also be psychologically taxing, making the journey to recovery daunting.

Individuals attempting to break free from Flakka may encounter various withdrawal symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Mood swings
  • Deep depression, potentially leading to suicidal ideation
  • Heart rhythm irregularities (arrhythmia)
  • Tremors and seizures

For those struggling to overcome addiction to Flakka, support is available. Iris Wellness Group offers comprehensive and individualized Flakka addiction treatment. Contact us 423-401-9630 or fill out our contact form to begin the journey to recovery.

Flakka Overdose

Recognizing the signs of a Flakka overdose is crucial for ensuring timely medical intervention. This synthetic drug poses severe risks, and overdosing can lead to life-threatening conditions that require immediate attention. If someone exhibits the following symptoms after consuming Flakka, they might be experiencing an overdose:

  • A significant rise in body temperature
  • Sudden violent behavior
  • Unpredictable or strange actions
  • Experiencing hallucinations
  • Potential organ damage
  • Internal bleeding

In such instances, it’s imperative to seek medical help right away, as these symptoms indicate a critical situation that could escalate rapidly.

Help For Your Flakka Addiction at Iris Wellness Group

Flakka presents a challenging journey for those seeking to break free from its grip. At Iris Wellness Group, we are dedicated to assisting individuals in overcoming addiction and paving the way to a more fulfilling, healthy life. Our team of experienced addiction specialists offers compassionate, tailored care designed to address each person’s specific recovery needs. Contact Iris Wellness Group at 423-401-9630 or fill out our online form to explore how our addiction treatment programs can support you or your loved one on the path to recovery. Start your journey to wellness with us today.

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