Youngsters are Ingesting Flakka Without Knowing Its Damages


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The risks of drug abuse are extremely high in youngsters and the latest addition to this list is “flakka”. Although its use is not that common less than 1% of high school students have reported using the new drug called flakka.

Flakka is a new synthetic drug that is getting popular as a club drug just like ecstasy or molly, two other drugs of similar nature. The first report on the prevalence of flakka usage in US teenagers showed that it is nearly 0.8% during the year 2016-2017. This information has been retrieved from annual Monitoring the Future report that is based on middle school and high school students and their experiences with drugs and alcohol.

Scientists believe that flakka is not so compelling like other popular drugs. May be high school students are just curious about using flakka. However, samples taken from certain clubs and parties show the traces of flakka along with other party drugs. Many of the participants of these parties admitted using flakka like other drugs.

Is flakka dangerous?

Flakka is the common name for alpha-PVP, which is a synthetic cathinone belonging to the class of psychoactive drug called “bath salts.”

Cathinone is naturally found in a shrub called “khat” which is famous for its psychoactive properties. It grows in Africa and the locals chew it for stimulation.

In the form of flakka, the teens are consuming hallucinogens and stimulants , which is an extremely dangerous combination. It has put thousands of people to hospital emergency and is even lead to accidents, homicides, and suicides.

Only in Florida, it has been linked with 80 death cases between September 2014 and December 2015 alone. The cases of flakka poisoning increased by more than 700% between the years 2010 and 2015.

People are attracted towards it because it is cheaper than heroine, cocaine and weed. For only one dose, all it takes is $3 – $5. But this inexpensive purchase comes with extremely dangerous effects.

People may consume flakka in multiple ways i.e. eat it, snort it, inject it or vape it. Keeping all this information at one place, U.S. DEA has added it into schedule 1 drug list that has high abuse potential and non medicinal nature.

What does flakka do?

The damages of using flakka includes faster heart rate, elevated body temperature, stress, anxiety, seizures, agitation, aggression, hallucinations, paranoia, and even suicidality.

It is hard to tell if a person has ingested flakka or not just by looking at it. what makes it even more difficult is that it doesn’t show on typical drug tests.

The users of flakka often use other frugs i.e. synthetic cannabinoids spice and K2, ketamine, and marijuana as well. It is rare to use flakka as an individual drug and often it comes with multiple substances that increases the dangerous even more.

The final word

The new synthetic drug “flakka” is getting extremely popular in US school going kids. Though the current statistics are not alarming but its growing popularity is a constant threat to public health. The reported cases of flakka are not many because sometimes flakka is used to cut the effects of other club drugs i.e. ecstasy.

It is listed in DEA’s illegal drugs list and has no medicinal benefit to the user. Considering all these facts, more research should be carried out to understand its mechanism and the potential treatments.

Source

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376871619300146?via%3Dihub


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Areeba Hussain
The author is a Medical Microbiologist and healthcare writer. She is a post-graduate of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. She covers all content on health and wellness including weight loss, nutrition, and general health.

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