The drug that plagued Florida
By Ethan Richards and Dylan Pritchard
What Is Flakka?
Flakka, or alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone, Is a synthetic Bath Salt that is imported from China. It was created as a loophole to the rather new Bath Salt illegalization. Bath Salts are synthetic psychoactive drugs, and all contain similar chemicals. Flakka's chemical formula is C15H21NO.
Is Flakka Used in medicine? Does it interfere with other substances?
Flakka is a drug made specifically for recreational use, and is not used in medicine. It is a rather new drug, but so far testing has not shown negative interaction with other drugs.
How does Flakka get into the body?
There are a variety of ways to put this drug into your body. It can be swallowed, snorted, inhaled or injected, but Injecting or snorting are the most dangerous methods.
What are some of the effects of Flakka? How is Neurotransmission effected?
Flakka causes a range of symptoms, from kidney failure, to violent behaviors and muscle spasms. The drug effects dopamine receptors in the brain, and it may cause hallucinations. Nightmares, delusional thoughts, and paranoia are some of the long term effects on the brain, and some short term side effects are a euphoric sensation, rapid heartbeat, increased blood pressure, alertness and aggressive behavior. Some other major effects of Flakka are Psychosis, dizziness, Ulcers, Loss of coordination, malnutrition and heart problems.
How Long do these effects last?
Flakka floods the dopamine receptors in the brain and central nervous system, and the effects can last for several days.
What is the Tolerance, withdrawal or overdose?
Flakka has a very low tolerance rate, and acts very quickly once in the blood stream. Some users reported seeing symptoms of withdrawal immediately after the high dissipated, and it doesn't take much of the drug to overdose. Some evidence that somebody might be overdosing would be sweating, vomiting, hallucinating and even seizures.
What are the laws or social concerns about Flakka?
Bath Salts as a whole have been banned by Barack Obama, but Flakka was designed to act as a loophole around this ban. The laws were later fixed, and Flakka is now illegal. Some of the actions that people who were high have taken have been illicit activities too. A Florida man was reported naked, on the roof of a building with a gun. He was reported to be high on flakka, and was arrested. The population of Florida, who have been hit the hardest, say that flakka is "an epidemic" and should be stopped.
We spent 24 hours living through Florida’s flakka crisis
What help exists for those addicted?
drugabuse.org and many other drug protection agencies have opened up treatment centers for those addicted to Bath Salts. If you are addicted, call the Drug Abuse Hotline: