There’s a new deadly and dangerous chemical joining the pervasive dangerous drug epidemic sweeping the nation. It’s known as flakka, and for now, how exactly to treat flakka addiction is still basically unknown to addiction treatment specialists. This emerging substance arriving on the streets, alpha-PVP, causes strange psychotic behavior in it’s users. It can induce states of terrifying, “fight or flight” fear responses and also instigate aggression and violence. To the further detriment of flakka users, these intense unpredictable effects can return and express themselves again weeks, even months after the initial intoxication when the drug is first ingested. It’s been reported that this substance is profoundly addictive despite these disturbing symptoms that it carries with it. It produces a release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, responsible for promoting feelings of euphoria, that is much more significant than with cocaine or methamphetamine. Users can come to be afraid of what flakka will do to them yet they will continue to use it.
Flakka is developing into a serious issue in several states including Ohio, Texas and Florida. It’s rising popularity and prevalence can be credited in part to how inexpensive it is. Several doses may cost as little as $5, making the drug accessible to virtually anyone. Furthermore the substance alpha-PVP hasn’t been officially banned entirely by the federal government as of yet and it’s still legal to possess in many parts of the country. Laws regarding flakka vary on a state to state basis.
There is no physical withdrawal from flakka but the psychological repercussions of using the drug will linger for an indeterminate amount of time. There is very little information available to base treatment for a flakka addiction upon. Not much is known about what alpha-PVP does to the brain and the body since there is yet to be thorough research compiled on this new substance. Of course, as with any other substance addiction problem, what spurred the individual towards drug seeking behavior will have to be analyzed with a psychological approach. Since using the drug will deprive the brain of the normal dopamine function, cessation from alpha-PVP will result in severe depression and suicidal ideations. Addicts being treated for flakka addiction may require a high level of care for an extended period of time. As cognition returns in such a patient, the results of their bizarre behavior while under the influence will come to light. Often they will be unable to recall what happened while experiencing such a powerful high. Learning of their disturbing actions while they were using flakka may also be unsettling to them. These addicts will be very sick individuals and much attention for them will be a necessity in treating their disease.