First National Study on Flakka Finds Disturbing Trend Among Teens

The synthetic street drug, Flakka, was first seen in the news in late 2014 and 2015. The drug causes ... We know this from ecstasy,” said Castellanos.

First National Study on Flakka Finds Disturbing Trend Among Teens

Table Of Contents

First National Study on Flakka Finds Disturbing Trend Among Teens

At least 1 percent of American teenagers are using the drug Flakka, but it could be more than that. The first national study on Flakka was just published and it had some disturbing findings regarding use of the drug among teenagers. The synthetic street drug, Flakka, was first seen in the news in late 2014 and 2015

The drug causes dangerous side effects and bizarre behavior. Some say that Flakka is either a combination of cocaine and heroin or heroin and methamphetamines. Flakka really is a newer version of the psychoactive synthetic drug known as “Bath salts.” Bath salts, the drug, have nothing to do with Epsom salts or the bath salts people use to bathe in

They are called bath salts because they look like regular bathing bath salts - white or off-white powder or crystals. As different types of bath salts are made illegal, illegal drug labs slightly alter the chemical composition, creating a new drug that is technically not illegal. Flakka’s new chemical is called alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone or alpha-PVP

People take Flakka to get a heightened sense of awareness, a feeling of euphoria, energy and stimulation. The inexpensive drug costs as little as $5 per dose and can be snorted, injected, swallowed, smoked or vaped. Flakka has many severe side effects, often triggered by even a slight overdose

The Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan conducted an annual survey that analyzes drug use in high school students. Using some of this data NYU Langone Medical Center ran the first national study on Flakka use. It published its findings on Tuesday, Jan

29 in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Joseph Palamar, lead author of the study and an associate professor of population health at NYU Langone MC, told CNN: “The main finding was that less than 1 percent of high school seniors are estimated to have used Flakka in the past year.” According to the study, 19.2 percent of the students who said they used Flakka in the past year used it at least 40 times. Those who used the drug were more likely to have used other drugs and were less likely to live with their parents

Flakka, sometimes called “The poor person’s cocaine,” led to 80 deaths just in the state of Florida between September 2014 and December 2015, the new study shows. During that time period, there were more than 2,000 recorded emergency department visits related to the drug’s use in Broward County. One of the youngest users was a 13-year-old, who was among the 15 percent of users who were younger than 25

Dr. Dan Castellanos, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Florida International University, and his team did their own research of the drug. “It really gets people very, very agitated,” Castellanos said

Although Flakka affects users differently, Palamar cautioned against its dangers: “That’s one thing that needs to be known: It doesn’t have that effect on everyone who uses it. It is a very dangerous drug. It’s a very potent drug

It’s as potent as methamphetamine.” “What really stands out about Flakka is the wacky behavior that is sometimes associated with its use,” he said.

Sources