What is Flakka?

Everything You Need to Know About the Flakka Drug

In the last year, a new drug has hit the streets of The United States. Users claim its worse than cocaine or meth and can have a person hooked in no time at all. Flakka, according to the DEA and NIDA, is “spreading death” across the country.

What is Flakka?

Flakka is also known as alpha-PVP or gravel. It is a synthetic bath salt, but its chemical makeup is different from the other bath salt variants which are also addictive. The drug combines chemicals which are similar to an amphetamine like stimulant. When used, it mimics meth, but looks more like cocaine. It can be smoked, snorted, dissolved under the tongue, injected or inhaled using a vaporizer.

In Spanish, flakka means “enticing woman”. However, there is nothing enticing about its effects. At first the user may feel slightly euphoric, but within minutes that wares off. A surge of energy coupled with hallucinations, dizziness, confusion and delusions arise. The strength of the user can increase 10 fold taking 4 or 5 adult men to restrain the individual. Police and witnesses have said a person on flakka resembles a zombie in a psychotic episode. YouTube videos of people on flakka paint a more realistic visual of the reality of the drug.

Flakka is Legally Produced Abroad

As a man made drug, flakka is produced primarily in China and India. Because most countries, and states, do not have laws against it, the drug is often sold on websites. As of late 2015, China acknowledged the dangers of Alpha-PVP and added it to their list of controlled substances. However, it has not curtailed using in the U.S.

As soon as flakka arrives on the doorstep of a user/dealer, it can be pressed into pills, formed into crystals, crushed into a powder or dissolved into a liquid. This makes identifying the drug more challenging. There are rumors of people purchasing what they thought to be another type of drug, only to find out after using, it was flakka. This however, is not confirmed as of early 2016.

Effects of Flakka Use

The synthetic drug causes serious effects ranging from hallucinations and delusions to extreme paranoia, agitation, anger or psychosis. As the effects linger, a users’ blood pressure can significantly increase leading to a high risk of heart attack or stroke. When a person is on the flakka drug, they may lose all sense of reality. As a result, they may put themselves in dangerous, life threatening situations. At the time, because the drug is so new to the market, little is known about long term effects. What is confirmed is that there has been deaths linked to the flakka drug.

Uproar in New York

In New York, flakka is considered to be a drug epidemic throughout the state. Emergency room visits have skyrocketed with up to 150 per week. According to one website, East Harlem and the Bronx have been hit the hardest. One Special Agent in Charge of the New York DEA field office James Hunt says it’s "No different than taking rat poison." Even with the seriousness and dangers of flakka becoming increasingly known amongst drug users, it continues to spread to states like Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Illinois and Ohio.

Changes in Laws

The majority of states have already made bath salts illegal. These drugs belong to the synthetic cathinones class which is the same flakka is in. The biggest loop hole is that manufacturers will tweak the chemical formula so as to stay on the legal side of the law. What this means is that if a specific chemical is not yet illegal, the drug could be considered legal. To get around this, lawmakers in New Jersey are drafting “open ended” laws which make it easier to go after dealers and users who are involved in flakka abuse.

Clearly there is a cause for concern. It’s the synthetic drugs which often pose the most risk. The spread of flakka should raise awareness about these harmful, poisonous chemicals. Today it could be flakka, but what’s in store for next year?

It’s safe to say, that adults in not only the U.S., but also everywhere in the world should become aware and educated about designer drugs. Through this, better planning can be made to help people stay away from these harmful substances. In fact, it could save someone’s life.

Getting Help for Flakka Abuse and Addiction

If you or someone you know abuses or is addicted to the flakka drug or bath salts and would like to go to rehab, contact Serenity Chiang Rai today. As one of the leading centers in Asia, we are familiar with the necessary treatment approach to bath salts and other synthetic chemical drugs.

Contact us today to find out how we can help.