The Pulse

Flakka

DANGER SCALE

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Flakka

Flakka (alpha-PVP), is a dangerous drug that is similar to the street drug commonly known as bath salts. Flakka is typically white or pink in color and is found in crystal form.

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What is it?
Flakka (alpha-PVP), is a dangerous drug that is similar to the street drug commonly known as bath salts. Flakka is typically white or pink in color and is found in crystal form. DEA has designated it as a Schedule I drug – these drugs are designated as having no medical use, highly prone to substance abuse, dangerous to use, and unable to be used safely even under the care of a physician. Likely to produce the symptoms of physical or psychological dependence if used over a long length of time.

Street names: Gravel, The Zombie Drug

How is it used?
The drug may be eaten, snorted, injected, or vaporized in e-cigarettes.

How does it affect the body?
Paranoia and hallucinations that may lead to violent aggression and self-injury, overdose, and death have been linked to the use of this drug.

Where do people get it?
People used to get it online, but it is now illegal. It is bought in lieu of cocaine or amphetamines because it is much cheaper. It also is laced with other drugs such as Marijuana.

Most often manufactured in Pakistan and China, but with growing popularity in the younger generation labs are opening in the States. There is little to no oversight in the production of this drug so ingredients vary. Other drugs that might be added to it are Crystal Meth, Ecstasy (MDMA), Methcathinone (MCAT), Mephedrone, and Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). Sugar or gelatin may be added to make it taste like candy.

How’s it dangerous?
Side effects of the drug include: causing people to move like zombies, jerking and contorting in an unnerving and inhuman way. When too much is taken the muscle fibers in their body start to dissolve into the bloodstream. Their bodies start moving uncontrollably. Sometimes, their heads will drop down below their shoulders; other times, their limbs will stiffen and shoot out. It’s like watching a marionette dance as its strings are cut or, perhaps, a glitch in a video game.

Flakka activates the fight-or-flight response in a person’s brain, often turning them irrationally violent. And at the same time, it causes paranoid, delusional fantasies—meaning their brains just come up with reasons to start fighting, flakka rewires the brain chemistry.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, call Gallus at
(888) 306-3122.