Author: John Carter

How Does Flakka Affect Your Brain?

how does flakka affect your brain

Flakka is a potent drug that can stimulate the ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain. This drug can have severe repercussions on the brain and overall health of an individual. Users have reported that the drug use of flakka can trigger intense and uncontrollable urges to ingest the drug again. Recently, the abuse of synthetic drugs has re-emerged as a significant worldwide issue. Although most respond to aggressive treatment, the course is usually prolonged and many never return back to baseline.

how does flakka affect your brain

As a stimulant of the central nervous system, the active compounds in flakka can cause excitability and paranoia, which is as powerful as cocaine, bath salts, or meth. People who use Flakka have also been reported to show unpredictable and violent behaviors that stem out of their paranoia, hallucinations, and the feeling that they have superhuman strength. For this reason, the production, sale, and use of Flakka are illegal. The cathinones also inhibit the reuptake of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin in the central nervous system. This inhibition causes an increase in the hormones that elevate mood.

Flakka – The Dangerous Synthetic Drug

The target customer base for flakka dealers are those who live in low-income neighborhoods. Because flakka was initially legal in most places across the U.S., underage teenagers often used to purchase it as a replacement for cigarettes or alcohol. Additionally, flakka also served as a cheaper replacement for people who were too poor to afford cocaine every day, as its packet was priced between $5 and $15 only. Reports from the emergency rooms have indicated that most people who use flakka are males in their 20s and 30s. Due to the drug’s potent effects, flakka has very high addiction potential.

how does flakka affect your brain

This is because the “comedown” after drug ingestion causes feelings of depression and being down. Flakka is one of the more recent synthetic drugs and research into its effects isn’t extensive. However, research that has been conducted has shown that the drug can be toxic to the kidneys and cause renal failure.

Given the quick and widespread popularity of bath salts a few years ago, many fear it is only a matter of time before flakka use spreads nationwide. While the attention given to the flakka and its effects on the brain here nationally, the drug–as well as all synthetic drugs–are seen around the world. Most of these synthetic drugs–which were banned worldwide in 2006–start off in New Zealand, then spread to Eastern and Western Europe, then to the United States.

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South Florida is the epicenter of multiple Flakka episodes, with users displaying bizarre and psychotic behaviors [1]. In this case report, the patient’s baseline mental status changed abruptly and drastically from only one use of Flakka. Even with the use of benzodiazepines and antipsychotics, the patient became alert and oriented but never returned back to her normal functioning. Flakka is a man-made drug that produces stimulant effects similar to cocaine. Even in minimal doses, this drug will induce central nervous system stimulation and a state of unconsciousness similar to other drugs like cocaine and Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Flakka use will cause extreme effects characterized by violent behavior, extreme euphoria (intense excitement), extreme agitation, and distress.

As cathinones are hydrophobic molecules, they can cross cell membranes and the blood-brain barrier. This allows them to interact with the monoamine transporters in the synaptic cleft between neurons. At high doses, Flakka can affect the body’s temperature; it will reach high temperatures and sometimes this extreme change can lead to muscle breakdown and subsequent kidney damage. If you wish to contact a specific medical detox center then find a specific treatment center using our addiction treatment locator tool. If you are seeking drug and alcohol related addiction rehab for yourself or a loved one, the hotline is a confidential and convenient solution.

  1. ’ is a question that everyone has been wondering since 2015 when the news of this drug first appeared in South Florida.
  2. Individuals who use Flakka for the long term may suffer extreme paranoia, mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, and suicidal tendencies.
  3. The sudden and dramatic surge of the drug has no doubt caused great concern, and while not much is known about the drug, the effects of flakka on the brain and body are severe enough to warrant immediate attention.
  4. In this case report, a 17-year-old female with no prior psychiatric diagnosis presents to the hospital under a 72-hour involuntary placement for altered mental status with agitation and psychotic behaviors.
  5. As a stimulant of the central nervous system, the active compounds in flakka can cause excitability and paranoia, which is as powerful as cocaine, bath salts, or meth.

If you or a loved one is struggling with flakka or other drugs, it is important to contact Your First Step immediately. Addiction is a difficult disease to overcome, especially for someone with no support. Always involve your loved ones on your recovery journey and seek their support to overcome common challenges. For people without family support, joining a community support group can help. They last between two and five hours, which is similar to the duration of the effects of effects of bath salts. It is equally vital to understand ‘How does Flakka affect your brain and other organs’.

Most reports of Flakka after 2016 turned out to be other similar chemicals in the bath salt family. Flakka was also very inexpensive, costing as little as $5 for a dose. This caused people most at risk, poor desperate drug addicts and homeless people, to use it instead of more expensive drugs like cocaine or methamphetamines. The stimulant can even produce psychological problems in those with no history of mental illness.

Alcoholism and Personality Changes

When vaporized, alpha-PVP quickly enters the bloodstream, and its effects are felt more rapidly. However, this method of administration makes overdose more likely. People seeking to get a ‘recreational high’ chew the leaves of this plant. As per recent research, Flakka has resulted in 75 deaths from the years 2017 to 2020. The following video brings attention to the serious dangers of Flakka use, even for first-time users.

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When someone goes through a flakka detox, they will usually experience withdrawal symptoms such as those listed above. Synthetic drugs are illicitly created to produce substances that differ slightly from legal drugs. The patient was originally brought to the hospital at the request of the patient’s mother who noticed an acute onset of these bizarre behaviors. During the initial evaluation, the patient was drowsy and not coherent enough to give an accurate history of the events leading up to her current altered state.

People who use Flakka can display cases of bizarre and uncontrollable behavior. Flakka’s effects on user’s brains are both jaw dropping and devastating. If you or a loved one has taken the drug, or are struggling with addiction to other drugs, it is vital that you find quality drug treatment immediately.

How Does Flakka Affect Your Brain: What is Flakka Addiction?

The result of the cellular products and proteins released during rhabdomyolysis and dehydration can impair the filtering function of the kidneys, leading to renal failure and death. In addition, such agitation may trigger Taser use or other methods that have the potential to harm the individual when law enforcement personnel have to intervene. Developing flakka addiction is a serious risk as the ingredients of this drug can be highly unpredictable, and most of them are not safe for human consumption. Even if a person uses a type of flakka with known ingredients, they may still end up with terrible side effects. Chronic use of this substance can cause compulsive cravings and slowly lead to tolerance. As the duration of use lengthens, so does the severity of addiction symptoms.

Both flakka and bath salts can cause panic attacks, hallucinations, increased sex drive and sociability, and paranoia. The products are also packaged and sold similarly with a label that says “not for human consumption.” Moreover, their major selling and purchasing occur under innocuous names such as jewelry cleaners or plant food. People who are familiar with the drug market have been hearing the word flakka for some time now. As a synthetic drug, it has been designed to skirt the law while getting people high more easily. Because the chemical structure of flakka was not particularly illegal in any area of the United States until 2014, it was easier to purchase it from paraphernalia shops, convenience stores, and even online.