With the rise of synthetic drugs, the realm of addictive substances has rapidly expanded. Synthetic drugs are also called “designer drugs” and started as legal substances to sell, buy, possess, and use. Even as law enforcement moves in on one designer drug, another is synthetically created. One of those is the new drug “Flakka.” This dangerous substance presents a new scope of issues for individuals dealing with addiction.
If you’re worried that someone you love is struggling with Flakka, or have any other questions about the drug, don’t hesitate to call New Life House.
What is Flakka?
Flakka is a synthetic drug sharing a core component found in drugs like bath salts. Users report a sense of euphoria and energy boost, similar to meth or other amphetamine-based drugs. The substance is often in a chalky-colored rock form or crystallized. It resembles pink or white gravel, similar to grains of sand. It can also be found in a powdered form. The drug has a particularly foul and pungent smell.
Flakka is a stimulant resulting in several disturbing side effects. It can cause hallucinations, delusions, extreme agitation, and violent outbursts. Flakka users are often characterized by erratic and bizarre behavior. People are often volatile under the influence of Flakka and should be approached with extreme caution. Flakka first started circulating heavily in South Florida between 2013 to 2015. The erratic behavior earned it the nickname “zombie drug.” Since then, the Drug Enforcement Administration has deemed Flakka a Schedule 1 drug. This means it is highly illegal, has a high potential for addiction, and carries no medicinal value.
This highly addictive drug requires professional assistance to beat, that which New Life House can offer.
How is Flakka Being Used?
Flakka is used in a number of ways. It can be injected, smoked, swallowed, or snorted. It can be compressed into capsules and taken as a pill. Another issue is that Flakka can be consumed through the vapor of electronic cigarettes. This means it can be used in public with little to no suspicion. If it is used as a vapor, it will enter the bloodstream quickly, causing a more rapid onset and leading to a higher chance of overdose. Faster onsets of administration have a much higher tendency of producing unwanted, negative, side effects. While this drug is relatively new, professionals at New Life House are quickly learning the signs of abuse and how people are using it.
What Makes Flakka Addictive?
Flakka is a highly addictive stimulant. The addictiveness derives from the potency of alpha-PVP. Alpha-PVP is another name of a synthetic cathinone similar to that found in the African khat plant. It shares qualities with active ingredients found in bath salts. Overuse or continued use of Flakka can cause significant cravings. The addictive nature will lead people to exhibit drug-seeking behavior. If too much is taken, an overdose is likely. All of these qualities make for a highly addictive substance with dangerous effects and implications.
Flakka addiction is difficult to tackle without professional assistance. Contact New Life House to learn how we can help your loved one.
Why Do People Start Abusing Flakka?
Flakka is relatively new to the drug scene. As a synthetic drug, it is an example of administrative failure to pass legislation around drug scheduling. Drugs are scheduled around base components. In the case of Flakka, that is an alpha-PVP stimulant developing in the 1960s. Alpha-PVP is now manufactured overseas and shipped worldwide. In January 2014, it became a controlled substance but had already infiltrated U.S. markets thoroughly.
Flakka is now ingrained in the underground drug culture. As thousands of drugs are smuggled in each year, there is no deterrent to stop importing Flakka. The access and allure of “designer drugs” pull people in. Help from sober living facilities like New Life House pull people out.
What Are the Symptoms & Side Effects of Abusing Flakka?
Flakka can rival MDMA, crystal meth, and cocaine in terms of symptoms and side effects. Users have energy lasting hours or even days on end. It starts with a rush of dopamine resulting in a euphoric high. Energy, mood, and alertness are intensified. At the same time, users can be agitated or delirious. Flakka abuse sometimes results in psychiatric hospitalization. People are often psychotic or exhibit abnormal physical strength.
There are several stories of Flakka-related cases. They range in severity, including attempts to break into police precincts and accidental impalement. One such example is a user requiring several police officers before successful restraint. The intensity of the drug means it is not to be trifled with or taken lightly. If a loved one is suffering from a Flakka addiction, contact New Life House immediately for help.
In short, the effects of Flakka are:
- Severe hallucinations
- Excessive sweating
- Panic attacks
- Extreme agitation
- Slurred speech
- High body temperature
These effects can begin anywhere from immediately to 15 minutes after ingestion, depending on the route of administration. The high and side effects will last somewhere between two to five hours, leaving ample time for troublesome and erratic behaviors.
In some instances, street dealers will lace crystal meth or cocaine with Flakka. This leads to exacerbated effects with dangerous results. These laced drugs can lead to overdose or death.
How Can I Tell if Someone is Addicted to Flakka?
As indicated, a person addicted to Flakka will exhibit drug-seeking behaviors. These behaviors generally involve a disregard for consequences in an effort to obtain the substance. A person addicted to Flakka might take action resulting in legal, social, and health consequences. Relationships can be tested in this process, which is why places like New Life House are essential.
An individual might also exhibit signs of psychosis. This involves an altered mental state featuring panic attacks, delusions, extreme agitation, paranoia, and more. These psychotic periods might result in psychiatric hospitalization until the effects wear down.
With the highly addictive nature of Flakka, it is important to seek help immediately if addiction is suspected.
How Does Someone Detox from Flakka?
The short answer to how Flakka detox should be done is, “with help.”
Detoxing from such an addictive substance is no easy task. It often requires the help of professionals and administration of antipsychotics. This would help reduce the effects of drug-induced psychosis. At this time, there are no FDA approved medications to help with Flakka abuse. During the psychotic period, an individual may need to be hospitalized and given help from psychiatric officials.
The initial detox period can be dangerous and stressful for family members. Witnessing a loved one endure the pain of coming off the “high” can be a lot. Add in the dangerous psychotic effects of Flakka and it will be evident why professional help is often needed. In terms of synthetic drugs, Flakka is one of the more dangerous substances to abuse.
For young men, a sober living facility like New Life House is designed to offer post-detox therapy in a supportive environment. Often, being separated from the triggers and anxieties that lead to addiction is the best way to recover. To see how sober living can help your loved one, contact New Life House today.
How Can New Life House Help?
Dependence on alcohol or mood-altering substances affects more than the individual. It can lead family members to experience frustration, isolation, and loneliness. Family members are also part of the healing process. Helping a loved one overcome an addiction to Flakka can be a rocky road, but one New Life House can help navigate. Understanding the ins, outs, and effects of Flakka is one step towards better supporting family members.
New Life House is a sober living with facilities specifically designed for young men between the ages of 18 to 23 as well as 23 to 30 years old. A similar age group with similar experiences and struggles surrounds residents. By leaning on one another for support, young men are better able to handle the trials of addiction. This includes eliminating distractions, providing 24/7 support, 12-step meetings, and positive peer collaboration.
New Life House also incorporates the family into the recovery process. Over the thirty years New Life House has served Southern California, the program has recognized the critical component families play in recovery. This involves preparing families for the return of the loved one to the home after the time at New Life House has ended. New Life House staff are always on hand to answer questions for family members of residents.
If the time has come for more hands-on assistance, contact New Life House to learn about how we can help you.
Tips to Prevent Flakka Addiction Relapse
The role of the family is essential in deterring a relapse. Even after sobriety is found, the battle is not over. Once young men return home from New Life House, several triggers and stressors may reenter daily life. Relapse is possible. Individuals have to make decisions every day to stay sober and avoid vices. As a family member, these are tips to help prevent a relapse into Flakka abuse
- Keep Busy. Cravings can arise during boredom. One way to help a recovering addict is to occupy the idle mind. This can involve reigniting a passion for an old hobby, spending time with friends and family, or searching for a new interest.
- Companionship. In line with friends and family is positive companionship. Creating positive social connections with supportive people can help a struggling addict. A good friend will help reduce temptation and aid in the fight. This can be friends with similar hobbies, shared interests, or a long, positive history. Many of the New Life House residents remain in touch after leaving, offering that positive companionship.
- Exercise and Eat Healthy. Staying active and eating well are two ways to feel busy and lead a healthy lifestyle. Exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make a person happy. This will help a family member feel better and battle the depression experienced after withdrawal. Healthy foods promise wellness inside and out. It can help reduce urges and cravings by shifting the mindset to a healthier lifestyle.
- Positivity is Key. Recovering addicts need to express positivity and gratitude wherever they are in the journey. This can be accomplished with therapy, which often continues after leaving sober living facilities. It can also be expressed by other family members to reinforce positive feelings in the loved one. Expressing gratitude for the recovering Flakka addict helps create a positive mindset for the whole family.
- Create a Good Environment. If a newly sober individual leaves New Life House and is surrounded by the same environment, routines, and friends that led to Flakka abuse, the chances for relapse are high. Transitioning with the help of New Life House can mitigate this by preparing individuals for these struggles and temptations. Family members can also help by anticipating these struggles and finding ways to remove those temptations before the return.
Contact Us Today
Overall, Flakka is not a drug addiction to take lightly. If a loved one is struggling with an addiction to this stimulant, consider taking steps to develop a supportive environment. New Life House has created this environment over the past thirty years.
If your loved one needs professional to help get back to living a healthy life, call New Life House at (888) 357 – 7577.