Flakka is a synthetic cathinone named alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (Alpha-PVP). Flakka is one of the many designer drugs that have taken over the party scene.
It’s a dangerous and addictive street drug that produces similar effects to other synthetic drugs like bath salts. Flakka comes in a white or pink crystal form that can be eaten, smoked, injected, or vaporized in a tool similar to an e-cigarette or vape pen. The dangers of flakka include a variety of direct health problems and risky behavior. As an addiction treatment center in Illinois, we’re aware of how dangerous synthetic drugs like flakka can be.
How Does Flakka Work?
Alpha-PVP, or flakka, is usually made in China out of synthetic chemicals that disrupt molecules in the brain that control the release of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters control pleasure and the reward system in the brain. The increase in dopamine and serotonin levels is what produces a high. Irregular levels of these hormones can cause chemical imbalance and mental health disorders.
Because this is a synthetic drug, professional treatment is often required in order to quit using. At Banyan Chicago, we offer a partial hospitalization program that not only offers patients the care they need to get sober but also teaches them how to sustain their sobriety long-term.
What Are the Dangers of Flakka Drug?
So, what does flakka do to you? Flakka causes a spike in body temperature as well as the increased release of dopamine and serotonin. Like its chemical cousins – amphetamines and cocaine – flakka causes a spike in dopamine and norepinephrine. While dopamine is responsible for the high that users experience, the increase in norepinephrine increases heart rate and blood pressure. Flakka is much more dangerous than drugs like cocaine because even the smallest dose can cause a severe spike in body temperature, delirium, and paranoia. As a fast-acting drug, it quickly produces a high, distracting from the harmful side effects of flakka. Without addiction treatment, flakka users can suffer from permanent health repercussions.
The long-term effects and dangers of flakka:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Liver damage
- Aggressive or uncontrollable behavior
Mental illness and substance abuse are linked because of the effect of drugs on dopamine levels. Flakka is one of the many drugs that hook users by increasing dopamine levels. Because dopamine controls pleasure and reward, any imbalance may lead to mental illness. At our rehab center in Illinois, we also offer an IOP for co-occurring disorders.
While there is still a lack of research about flakka drug effects on the body, many can agree that any form of substance abuse is dangerous and should be avoided.