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In the last year, a new drug has hit the streets of The United States. Users claim its worse than cocaine or meth and can have a person hooked in no time at all. Flakka, according to the DEA and NIDA, is “spreading death” across the country.It’s common for those with abuse drugs or alcohol to doubt group therapy or even be scared of going to these sessions. Quite understandably, there are likely a lot of personal stories which arise from drug and alcohol abuse. Recovery no less can be a very emotional experience and talking about these things in front of others can be a challenge. However, the benefits of group therapy for addiction can be extremely rewarding. The positive influences attendees’ will gain outweigh any of the initial intimidation. Anyone going to these sessions will quickly realize that group therapy at a rehab center is a vital part of the recovery process.
Flakka is also known as alpha-PVP or gravel. It is a synthetic bath salt, but its chemical makeup is different from the other bath salt variants which are also addictive. The drug combines chemicals which are similar to an amphetamine like stimulant. When used, it mimics meth, but looks more like cocaine. It can be smoked, snorted, dissolved under the tongue, injected or inhaled using a vaporizer.
In Spanish, flakka means “enticing woman”. However, there is nothing enticing about its effects. At first the user may feel slightly euphoric, but within minutes that wares off. A surge of energy coupled with hallucinations, dizziness, confusion and delusions arise. The strength of the user can increase 10 fold taking 4 or 5 adult men to restrain the individual. Police and witnesses have said a person on flakka resembles a zombie in a psychotic episode. YouTube videos of people on flakka paint a more realistic visual of the reality of the drug.
To engage in the most effective journaling, it’s important to write on a daily basis. Whether you are feeling great or feeling a little low, writing can help you put things into perspective. It will clear your head, alleviate stress and remind you of the hard work and strength you have put into getting sober.
As a man made drug, flakka is produced primarily in China and India. Because most countries, and states, do not have laws against it, the drug is often sold on websites. As of late 2015, China acknowledged the dangers of Alpha-PVP and added it to their list of controlled substances. However, it has not curtailed using in the U.S.
As soon as flakka arrives on the doorstep of a user/dealer, it can be pressed into pills, formed into crystals, crushed into a powder or dissolved into a liquid. This makes identifying the drug more challenging. There are rumors of people purchasing what they thought to be another type of drug, only to find out after using, it was flakka. This however, is not confirmed as of early 2016.
Alcoholics Anonymous is a good example of how group support can help people solve problems, receive strength and reach out to others. In fact, for over 70 years, AA has implored these similar principals to that of a group therapy session at a rehab.
The synthetic drug causes serious effects ranging from hallucinations and delusions to extreme paranoia, agitation, anger or psychosis. As the effects linger, a users’ blood pressure can significantly increase leading to a high risk of heart attack or stroke. When a person is on the flakka drug, they may lose all sense of reality. As a result, they may put themselves in dangerous, life threatening situations. At the time, because the drug is so new to the market, little is known about long term effects. What is confirmed is that there has been deaths linked to the flakka drug.
In New York, flakka is considered to be a drug epidemic throughout the state. Emergency room visits have skyrocketed with up to 150 per week. According to one website, East Harlem and the Bronx have been hit the hardest. One Special Agent in Charge of the New York DEA field office James Hunt says it’s “No different than taking rat poison.” Even with the seriousness and dangers of flakka becoming increasingly known amongst drug users, it continues to spread to states like Florida, Georgia, West Virginia, Illinois and Ohio.
Another benefit of moving from rehab to a sober living home is the transition into reality is slower, more steady and balanced. You’ll still have structure and security, but not as much as in the rehab. More importantly, these coupled with the support and guidance will continue to act as a safeguard. At this secondary treatment facility, you will learn to grow as a person, gather your thoughts and readjust to society and everything that comes with it.
The sober living home environment is one of the most suitable places to spend your early recovery. If you’re feeling anxious about returning home after rehab, consider this alternative option.
Further research is needed to fully understand a withdrawal from liquid ecstasy. Physical symptoms can appear in people who have ceased using the drug after a few days of consecutive use. Symptoms could include anxiety, insomnia, nausea, chest pain or tightness, muscle aches, sensitivity to sound or light, dysphoria, seizures and mental impairment. These symptoms can last between 2 days and 4 weeks. There have been people who struggle to cope with these withdrawal symptoms and require the assistance of a detoxification and rehab center. This is more frequent in heavy liquid ecstasy users.
Some liquid ecstasy users will attempt to withdrawal on their own. Because the effects can be so severe, they may use benzodiazepines or alcohol to lessen them. Self medicating any drug withdrawal without medical supervision can be extremely dangerous. It’s highly recommended to consult a doctor or rehab before going cold turkey (quitting on your own).
The majority of states have already made bath salts illegal. These drugs belong to the synthetic cathinones class which is the same flakka is in. The biggest loop hole is that manufacturers will tweak the chemical formula so as to stay on the legal side of the law. What this means is that if a specific chemical is not yet illegal, the drug could be considered legal. To get around this, lawmakers in New Jersey are drafting “open ended” laws which make it easier to go after dealers and users who are involved in flakka abuse.
Clearly there is a cause for concern. It’s the synthetic drugs which often pose the most risk. The spread of flakka should raise awareness about these harmful, poisonous chemicals. Today it could be flakka, but what’s in store for next year?
It’s safe to say, that adults in not only the U.S., but also everywhere in the world should become aware and educated about designer drugs. Through this, better planning can be made to help people stay away from these harmful substances. In fact, it could save someone’s life.
If you or someone you know abuses or is addicted to the flakka drug or bath salts and would like to go to rehab, contact Serenity Chiang Rai today. As one of the leading centers in Asia, we are familiar with the necessary treatment approach to bath salts and other synthetic chemical drugs.
Contact us today to find out how we can help.