Flakka drug addiction poses unique dangers to both young and old people because the cheaper ‘designer drug’ mimics cocaine and methamphetamine
Flakka is the new drug that is bringing addiction to the next level. It’s most similar chemically to bath salts, both of which cause aggressive behavior and hallucinations that can cause paranoia in the user. Flakka is a synthetic drug that is both a stimulant AND a hallucinogen. To say that flakka drug addiction is scary is an understatement.
Studies are suggesting that Flakka is more addictive than Meth. It is just as addictive as bath salts in tests with rats. Flakka, also sometimes called gravel, is relatively inexpensive so the rate of use and abuse is quick and fast. It is seen as a substitute for crystal meth and costs only 25% of the price of meth.
Why is Flakka Dangerous?
When a person uses flakka, they enter into an altered state of consciousness. Sometimes they can get themselves into a state called ‘excited delirium.’ In this state, hallucinations can cause paranoia which may lead to violent behavior. The person may experience elevated body temperature which may cause the person to take off clothes to attempt to cool down. There are numerous reports of a person under the influence of flakka being arrested for running around completely naked. It’s sadly more serious though than a person being over-warm and needing to cool down. Flakka can cause a person’s temperature to rise to extreme levels (as high as 106 degrees has been reported), causing cardiac arrest, stroke or death. Flakka also may cause a person to believe they have superhuman powers, which can lead to falls while under the influence of the drugs, attempts at flying, or aggressive behavior. There have also been reports of increased physical strength of a person under the influence of flakka, making it increasingly dangerous for law enforcement officers to get involved in order to restrain a person.
Flakka Side Effects:
- Lung damage if inhaled
- Complications with the law due to behavior
- Muscle tissue damage
- Permanent kidney damage or failure
- Muscle spasms
- Increased physical strength
- Aggressive behavior/rage
- Paranoia / Psychosis
- Increased body temperature
- Cardiac arrest
Because the side effects of flakka are so serious, it doesn’t require long-term use of the drug to do permanent damage to a person. The effects of flakka typically last a few hours, but can sometimes last for days or weeks. Flakka is so potent, even a slightly higher dose of the drug can send someone into life threatening danger. This is why drug treatment is so important.
Withdrawal from flakka is similar to opiate withdrawal. It is very serious and absolutely needs medical supervision. Symptoms of withdrawal from flakka include depression, anxiety, insomnia, night sweats, suicidal thoughts or actions. There may be liver and/or tissue damage from flakka use which also requires medical attention. It is imperative that someone detoxing from flakka be in a medically supervised facility, such as Ocean Hills Recovery.
If you or someone you love has a problem with flakka, early help is critical. Contact a counselor at Ocean Hills Recovery today.
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.