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An inexpensive street drug rising in popularity, flakka (also known as gravel) is a synthetic version of amphetamine-like drugs called cathinones. This emerging street drug has unpredictable psychological side-effects, making Flakka users a danger to themselves and others. Most often sold as a powder or crystallized rock form, flakka is chemically similar, but more potent than bath salts, another popular synthetic drug.

The effects of flakka are comparable to that of crystal meth, including increased energy and euphoria, and it can be just as addictive. People who abruptly stop taking flakka after prolonged use can experience painful physical and mental symptoms known as flakka withdrawal. Flakka, like other synthetic drugs, can have severe and dangerous psychological side effects, such as paranoia and violent and bizarre behavior.

The Truth Behind the Headlines about Flakka aka “The Zombie Drug”

Flakka has been the subject of many sensational news stories, dubbing it the zombie drug, because of the bizarre and violent behavior it can cause. Unfortunately, there is some truth to the hype.

The drug can cause a user’s blood temperature to spike up to 105 degrees, often causing them to strip naked and in some well-documented viral videos douse themselves with milk or other liquid in an attempt to cool themselves down.

Many users become extremely distressed and exhibit increased strength and stamina when authorities try to restrain them. In one particularly gruesome case, a college student who overdosed on flakka was charged with murder after police said he stabbed two strangers and chewed the flesh off of one of the victims.

Flakka use is more widespread than these headline-grabbing cases. Not all users experience these frightening behaviors, but they are likely to experience serious psychological side effects such as depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide.

FLAKKA WITHDRAWAL SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Heroin Signs

Like methamphetamines, the withdrawal effects of flakka are more psychological than physical. However, flakka’s psychological side effects are extremely dangerous and can be long-lasting. Heavy flakka users can experience a condition known as “excited delirium,” where they can experience hallucinations and become violent and/or suicidal. In some cases, “excited delirium” has led to prolonged psychosis–a lost of contact with reality–for up to 30 days.

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Profuse sweating
  • Weight gain
  • Hallucinations
  • Psychosis
  • Suicidal thoughts
FLAKKA WITHDRAWAL TREATMENT

Heroin Treatment

How to Safely Withdraw from Flakka

Because flakka addiction is a relatively recent development, there is no standard treatment for flakka withdrawal. Some drug rehab centers in South Florida–where flakka use is high–treat those addicted with gradually declining doses of amphetamines to ease the psychological side-effects of flakka withdrawal.

Other medical professionals use sedatives to treat heavy flakka users and put them under observation for an extended period of time because they can be a danger to themselves and others. In the most serious cases, those addicted to flakka have been treated for up to 30 days this way. Existing mental health conditions can exacerbate a withdrawal from flakka.

Continue Treatment after Detox

Because the symptoms of flakka withdrawal can last for weeks, it is highly recommended that former users attend an inpatient or outpatient drug treatment program to ensure success. Flakka is just as addictive as an methamphetamine, which has a high rate of relapse. Former flakka users often receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to put clients on the path to long-term recovery.

Need Help Finding Treatment in Your Area? Drug Treatment Center Finder Can Help

Drug Treatment Center Finder has a database filled with drug rehabs in all 50 states. We can help you find a drug treatment center in your area. If you have questions on withdrawal detox and treatment, call our 24-hour hotline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will walk you through the addiction treatment process.

FLAKKA WITHDRAWAL FAQS

Heroin FAQ

Flakka mimics the effects of popular street drugs like cocaine and meth, but at a fraction of the price. Doses of flakka can be purchased for as little as $5. Also some users find that flakka is easier to obtain than other illegal drugs. Manufacturers based in China often sell the drug online, and the drug can be delivered to the users doorstep. Although authorities are cracking down, flakka can also be sold at small retail stores, like gas stations and vape shops, labelled “not for human consumption” to evade oversight from authorities.

The length of the detox depends on the severity of the use. Heavy flakka users can experience severe psychological side-effects that must be monitored by medical professionals to ensure the client’s safety. Some flakka users in South Florida have been treated for up to 30 days.

Like most street drugs, flakka is consumed in variety of ways. Most users will snort a powdered form of flakka, but the synthetic drug can also be turned into a liquid form and smoked with a vaporizer or vape. Vaporizers–most commonly used with nicotine products–allow the drug to go directly into the user’s bloodstream, causing a more potent high and a higher risk for overdose.

The physical withdrawal effects of Flakka are similar to other powerful stimulants like meth and cocaine. They typically fade within one to three days. However, the psychological side-effects can last for weeks.

The best way to get off flakka is to seek professional drug treatment and have a medical team supervise your withdrawal process. If you need help finding a drug rehab in your area, Drug Treatment Center Finder can help you begin your journey toward recovery. Call our 24-hour hotline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our call agents will be available to answer any questions you may have about flakka addiction and the right treatment methods to pursue.

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM FLAKKA DRUG TREATMENT

WHEN YOU GET THERE

At a drug rehab center, you can start your recovery with a healthy support group of trained clinical staff, other like-minded recovering addicts, and addiction counselors that only want you to succeed.

PROGRAMS VARY BY INDIVIDUAL

Addiction treatment programs will vary by individual and substance, depending on the severity of his addiction and whether other treatment methods need to be included, such as dual-diagnosis or holistic therapies.

FLAKKA DETOX

Medications could be given during a medically supervised detox for Flakka dependence and addiction to help clients manage withdrawal symptoms associated with Flakka withdrawal. Licensed health care professionals will monitor be on hand to monitor clients’ physical and mental condition during this process.

THE RISKS OF STOPPING FLAKKA COLD TURKEY

Flakka is a relatively new synthetic drug, gaining popularity in the past two years, so there are a lot of unanswered questions surrounding its effects. However, flakka generally mimics the effects of methamphetamines and its withdrawal symptoms can be similar. Side-effects include paranoia, fatigue, and severe cravings for the drug. Flakka can also cause severe and prolonged psychological side effects, making a flakka user a danger to themselves and others. For this reason, it’s highly recommended that people withdraw from flakka with the help of medical professionals at a drug treatment center.

We can make this process less painful for you or your loved one today. Please call our 24-hour helpline at (855) 619-8070, and one of our agents will assist you with any questions you may have. You can also search for facilities in your area using our Find a Rehab search.

FLAKKA WITHDRAWAL STATISTICS

80%

Percentage of U.S. teens who used bath salts in 2016, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s 2016 Monitoring the Future Survey

55%

In 2014, Broward County, FL., accounted for more than half of the state's 870 flakka cases that year.

6%

In 2011 alone, about two-thirds of the 22,904 reports of bath salts use during emergency room visits involved bath salts that were used in combination with other drugs.

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