Chemists call it prolintanone. Club cooks just refer to it as flakka or gravel. It’s been in the news a lot—and not for good reasons. What is flakka? Why is it so dangerous, and how do you get off it?
What is Flakka?
This synthetic drug is a stimulant. People compare its high to cocaine but worse. When you multiply the high you get off cocaine with severe paranoia, you come close. As a result, the drug usually makes the news because of someone acting out violently.
Overdoses are everyday occurrences, too. Safe dosing is virtually impossible. You might think you’re doing OK but suddenly go into physical distress. Because the high lasts for a while, the distress might kill you.
Physicians warn that the drug breaks down muscle tissues, which affects the heart. It also attacks the kidneys. Due to its effects on neurons, psychological problems can become permanent. What is flakka if not a potential nightmare for everyone who tries it?
How Prevalent Is Flakka Addiction?
Flakka addiction is a growing problem in the United States. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 11 million people reported using synthetic cathinones, such as flakka, in 2018. In 2017, there were almost 4,500 visits to emergency rooms for adverse reactions to synthetic cathinones nationwide. The number of people aged 12 and older who were classified with a flakka use disorder in 2017 was estimated to be around 6.2 million people.
Flakka is especially popular among young adults, with one survey showing that nearly 30% of college-aged individuals have used the drug at least once. The number of overdose deaths caused by synthetic cathinones has risen dramatically in recent years, with flakka being a major contributor. In 2018, nearly 2,000 people died from synthetic cathinone-related overdoses in the United States. The problem is only getting worse and it’s important to understand the dangers of this drug so we can help those who are struggling with an addiction.
The danger is real, and the need for effective treatment has never been greater. Fortunately, you are excellent options available.
Clinical Treatment Helps You Overcome an Addiction to Flakka
Because of the intense psychological damage the drug does, clinical care is a must. You need to understand why you wanted to take it in the first place. Then, you have the opportunity to exchange dysfunctional patterns with healthy ones. Therapists use treatments such as:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy, which allows for negative pattern recognition
- Dialectical behavioral therapy that allows for emotional regulation
- Dual diagnosis treatment for psychiatric conditions that accompany addiction
- Individual therapy that encourages you to talk through your decision to live a sober life
- Group therapy, which helps you learn from peers in recovery
- Family therapy as a means of reconnecting with family members for support
- Holistic rehab that targets triggers and stressors you might be struggling with
It’s usually a good idea to opt for inpatient rehab. Doing so protects you from a peer group that might push the drug on you again. It also helps you to learn how to live sober in a hands-on way. You now structure your day with activities rather than drug use.
For many, this is an integral part of getting clean. Via experiential therapies, you learn new hobbies. You incorporate them into your days. When you leave the facility, you have the opportunity to continue the hobbies.
What Happens if You Don’t Do Anything?
What is flakka if not a highly addictive product? Pushers mercilessly pursue users. Getting out of the habit by yourself is virtually impossible. And every time you use, you risk death, coma, or severe organ failure.
With the help of rehabs in Oregon, you have a chance at beating the addiction. Therapists customize treatment approaches for you. They help you individually. This approach promises real changes.
If you’ve been through rehab before and relapsed, don’t let the hiccup stop you. Return to rehab today to get the help you need. Caring therapists at Crestview Recovery want to help you at every step of the way. Call 866.262.0531 today to connect with a counselor.
Since 2016, Dr. Merle Williamson, a graduate of Oregon Health Sciences University, has been the Medical Director at Crestview Recovery, bringing a rich background in addiction medicine from his time at Hazelden Treatment Center. He oversees outpatient drug and alcohol treatments, providing medical care, setting policies, detox protocols, and quality assurance measures. Before specializing in addiction medicine, he spent 25 years in anesthesiology, serving as Chair of Hospital Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee and Chief of Anesthesia at Kaiser Permanente. This experience gives him a unique perspective on treating prescription drug addiction.