Use of a dangerous street drug alphapyrrolidinopentiopheone (alpha-PDP), also known as Flakka is continuing to surge in Florida. The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that Alpha-PVP is chemically similar to other synthetic cathinone drugs popularly called “bath salts,” and that it takes the form of a white or pink, foul-smelling crystal. Flakka can be snorted, injected, eaten, or vaporized. Vaporizing, which requires the use of an e-cigarette or similar device, sends the drug into the bloodstream very quickly making it easy to overdose on the drug.
The drug can cause a condition known as “excited delirium” which involves hyper stimulation, paranoia, and hallucinations which can lead to violent aggression and self-injury. The powerful hallucinogenic thoughts are said to be comparable to those produced by bath salts. Flakka has been linked to deaths by heart attack and suicide. While the drug has been reported as gaining popularity in Florida, it has since also spread to upstate New York and New York City.
Flakka is an extremely cheap drug that produces an intense high, which many consider to be the cause for growth in popularity of the deadly drug in South Florida. Dealers are reported to be targeting sales to the young and poor, since this drug is seen as being a cheaper alternative to cocaine. The fatal street drug is not only extremely addictive, but also has an extremely high relapse rate. Users of Flakka suffer an intense craving for the drug.
Withdrawal symptoms for Flakka may include depressions, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, extreme irritability, insomnia, and sever fatigue. Those seeking treatment for Flakka use will benefit from medical monitoring and management for withdrawal symptoms. Additional treatment, such as intensive outpatient programs can be beneficial in the prevention of relapse after detox has been achieved.