Just Say Know
By Julia Brogioli and Molly Saturley
What does it look like?
Is Flakka used in medicine? How does it interact with other medications or substances?
How is Flakka administered?
What are the physical and psychological effects?
How is neurotransmission affected?
Reports have suggested that the users have had "superhuman strength". According to Dr. Micheal Baumann of the NIDA, (National Institute of Drug Abuse) this is because of how the drug blocks the norepinephrine transporter proteins in the brain. (Norepinephrine is a hormone that is released by the adrenal medulla and by the sympathetic nerves and functions as a neurotransmitter. It is also used as a drug to raise blood pressure.) This is a neurotransmitter that stabilizes the body for action by raising blood pressure and heart rate. The transporter proteins' function is to pick up any unutilized norepinephrine to stop its effects, but when flakka blocks these proteins, the effects cant be controlled.
Flakka also blocks dopamine transporter proteins. Dopamine takes place in the activation of the brain’s reward centers. (The brain's reward center controls basic survival- food, water, sex) and is released in response to pleasurable stimuli. Flakka increases the effect of dopamine.