In today’s world drug intake is common especially among young people. So common that it is in fact now considered a fashion. Among so many drugs there is a new drug that is taking over the world known as Flakka (the zombie drug). Some other names of this drug are Gravel or Flocka. This new drug is used as a combination of crack and heroine and is getting popular among drug addicts day by day.
What is Flakka?
Flakka is popularly known as the zombie drug. This drug is known as the zombie drug because it causes zombie like symptoms. Flakka was introduced in the early 20th century as a stimulant of the cathonine class. The thing that is causing zombie like symptoms is not Flakka. The three most common names of this drug are
- Zombie drug
The Zombie Drug
The drug commonly called flakka these days is actually Bath salts. These drugs are a newer product of bath salts. Bath salts in general are synthetic psychoactive drugs. These drugs are related to cathonines. Every time bath salts are made illegal due to harmful effects, its chemical structure is changed a little bit and then it is made legal again. The name remains the same though, that is alpha–Pyrrolidinopentiophenone actually is Flakka but changed. It is also called alpha-PVP. This drug causes euphoria that addicts take for self-pleasure.
Mode of intake
Flakka can be consumed by smoking, swallowing, ingesting, snorting or injecting. It will ultimately reach its destination and will cause the symptoms irrespective of the path taken. The drug’s effects last for several hours.
Side effects of Flakka
Let’s first get familiar with the word zombie. A zombie is a fictional character used in many flilms, seasons and games. A zombie, in general, is a human flesh eater or a type of carnivore that only eats human flesh and infects the one whom it bites. They have no sense at the entire environment and they move around in a weird way. So basically Flakka is called a zombie drug because it makes the consumer a zombie.
Flakka causes the following symptoms that make people call the addicts a zombie
- Jerking movement of muscles in a highly uncoordinated manner
- Delirious thoughts of pleasure, Highness
- Paranoia, causing fear
- Extreme agitation(A mental state of extreme emotional disturbance)
Although these symptoms are caused by other drugs as well but the jerking movements involuntarily are what makes it unique and horrifying to witness.
Behaviors of victims
The Flakka drug victims have been documented and interviewed after the drug’s symptoms fade away. The victims express themselves that they felt like they were being chased, some say that they felt like they were being attacked by a huge group of people. This is what makes them run crazily anywhere and everywhere. The people that have tried to make them calm or restrain the probably the police have had injuries due to the volatile behavior of the addicts. Sedatives are given at the spot to counter the situation of the addicts.
Symptoms and effects of Flakka
- Extreme agitation.
- Aberrant and ‘bizarre’ behavior.
- Delirium or intense confusion.
- Psychotic symptoms, delusions, and hallucinations.
- Changes in heart rate.
- Heart attack.
- Cardiomyopathy (damage to heart muscle).
- Death due to cardiac complications.
The people, who are close to the Flakka drug addicts, notice that the addicts exhibit personality changes over the time. The addict becomes more impulsive, agitated and/or disinhibited.
Outbreak of Flakka
The Flakka drug until now is restricted to some parts of the world but is gaining popularity day by day especially among the young generation. On the other hand, the drug authorities and law enforcement agencies are calling this an emerging major drug outbreak that will rise to higher consuming levels and cause life threatening circumstances for the people globally.
Treatment and Rehabilitation
- The neurological symptoms can be depressed using Benzodiazepines.
- The Cardiovascular involvement can be treated using low dose nor-epinephrines to stabilize the heart rate and blood pressure.
- Counseling—both individual and group.
- Contingency management (an incentive-based system designed to promote abstinence or compliance to a treatment program).
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
The best form of help for the addict’s lies is rehabilitation. Good care of the addict needs to be taken as Flakka is a very addictive drug. Keep the Flakka away from the addict at all times and do not let the victim alone until the addiction is over and the victim never opts for the drug again.
Here’s book on drug addiction and recovery that will help the addicts to recover and also help the people around the addicts to understand and tackle the situation.
Rewired: A Bold New Approach To Addiction and Recovery By Erica Spiegelman.