Informed Families Blog
INSTANT GRATIFICATION CAN MAKE YOU EAT YOUR FACE
“Users don’t know what they are buying. Dealers don’t know what they are selling.”
During our June webinar about 2015 Emerging Drug Trends, renowned epidemiologist Jim Hall shed light on the dark world of synthetic drugs. According to Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, synthetic drugs are “substances chemically similar to and/or that mimic the drug-like effects of controlled substances.” The drugs impact the central nervous system and can have stimulant, depressant and/or hallucinogenic effects.
Jim receives his information about the latest drug trends from a variety of sources, including data from emergency phone calls to poison control centers, crime scene investigations and medical examiner reports. In the first four months of 2015, 1,900 exposure calls were received by poison control centers about synthetic marijuana, also known as cannabinoids.
The newest synthetic drug on the scene, Flakka, is creating quite a stir throughout the State of Florida, as users’ bizarre and often violent behavior attracts police and media attention.
Flakka, or alpha-PVP, is a foul-smelling crystal that can be eaten, snorted, injected or vaporized in an e-cigarette or similar device, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Users who utilize a vaporizer are more likely to overdose due to the speed in which the drug is delivered to the bloodstream. The drug can cause what NIDA refers to as “excited delirium,” which includes hyperstimulation, paranoia and hallucinations that can cause violence and self-injury.
NBC reports that Flakka, which also sold under the name “gravel,” is stronger and more addictive than other drugs synthetic drugs. Affordable at just five dollars a dose, Flakka has been linked to kidney damage and failure, suicide and death by heart attack. The drug, which is produced in China, is frequently purchased online and resold by low-level drug dealers.