The New Nightmare Drug In South Florida

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It would seem a new drug is wreaking havoc in one of America’s biggest vacation and party destinations, South Florida. It’s called Flakka (alpha-PVP) and given how new it is it’s becoming a major threat to the health of those caught in it’s grasp. The drug causes truly odd behavior in it’s users and the effects and duration can last for extremely long periods of time. Relapse appears to happen frequently as well with some people experiencing aggression, anxiety and psychosis long after consuming the drug. Experiences of superhuman strength as well as a sensation of being “on fire” have been reported by users and due to these effects a number of users of the drug have died due to, again, unusual behavior while high.

For those who survive the drug’s initial extended “fight or flight” surge, clinicians aren’t sure about what comes next — or how to treat the addiction. For some reason, flakka, also known as gravel, hijacks the brain in ways that stand apart from other addictive drugs. Worse, its most intense effects have recurred long after the initial high, they say.
“Flakka is whole different animal,” said Paul Faulk, director of the Broward Addiction and Recovery Center, a county-run treatment facility. “What we’re seeing when these individuals come in (for treatment), cognitively something has changed in them.”

The scariest part of this drug is perhaps the relapse effects that seem to be occurring so long after the individual takes the drug. It’s been noted that many people have been going about their daily business and have been feeling perfectly fine until, out of nowhere, they become agitated, paranoid and aggressive towards others. To clarify, these symptoms aren’t coming hours or even days after the initial high. They are coming weeks and even months after the drug was taken.

Because the drug leads to such unpredictable and dangerous behavior, the treatment protocols that have been put in place currently include hospitalization in an emergency room for close monitoring as well as medications for anxiety as well as anti-psychotics to relieve the symptoms of psychosis. Further treatment methods include a form of “mental” detox as there don’t appear to be lingering physical addiction symptoms with this particular drug, but like every other addict some traditional approaches still apply such as determining why someone was drawn to use the drug in the first place or why they continue to use it.



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Sobriety Foundation

The New Nightmare Drug In South Florida

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