What is Flakka?
Flakka is a white or pink crystal synthetic drug that is chemically similar to bath salts. It is usually made from the chemical alpha-PVP, a synthetic version of the stimulant cathinone. Flakka is usually imported from China, Pakistan, and India. The drug is a potent, highly addictive stimulant.
What are the street names/slang terms for Flakka?
- Gravel: Resembles the colorful pebbles in the bottom of an aquarium
- $5 Insanity: Readily available for $5
- “Snacking”: refers to taking additional Flakka while already high
How is Flakka used?
Flakka can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or vaped in an e-cigarette or similar device.
What are the health effects of Flakka?
The small amount of research available shows that the following can occur from using Flakka:
- “Excited delirium” – extreme stimulation, paranoia and hallucinations, hyperthermia (generally a temperature of 105 degrees) and individual becomes psychotic, which can lead to violent aggression and self-injury
- Suicidal tendencies
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Aggressive and violent behavior
- Adrenaline-like strength (super human strength)
- Causes people to act erratically, uncontrollably, and dangerously
- Delusions and hallucinations (may describe being chased by someone or something)
- Heart palpitations
- Irregular heart beat
Excessive use has been linked with feelings of extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Effects can last 3-4 hours, but can also linger for several days.
What parents need to know?
- The chemical makeup of Flakka is constantly changing and it is often mixed with other substances such as crack cocaine and heroin.
- Users do not know where Flakka is being made, who’s making it, or what’s been added to it before it reaches them – making the effects very dangerous and unknown.
- Flakka is generally sold for $5 for a tenth-of a gram, making it very cheap.
- Flakka is easy to buy in bulk.
What can parents do?
- Talk to their children about the dangers of using synthetic drugs
- Know their child’s friends
- Supervise their child’s activities
- Monitor where children spend time and their surroundings for drug paraphernalia or evidence of online purchases
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