“Flakka”, a dangerous new synthetic drug

the To take a walk is a designer drug with both potent and deadly effects.

Numerous cases of consumption have been reported in the United States and some countries in Asia, but they recently reached Spain, where the first case of poisoning was detected, which luckily did not end. by death. However, this potent drug has raised alarm bells among health authorities.

Flakka, the new highly dangerous synthetic drug

Previous cases of poisoning had resulted in the deaths of individuals who had used drugs since this substance has an almost immediate effect on the body and there is no “antidote” to counter its negative effects, which makes it particularly dangerous.

A drug unknown until recently

Flakka can be taken orally, snorted, smoked, or injected. Its active compound is called alpha-PVP, a stimulating substance that belongs to the chemical group of catinones, which in turn belongs to the family of phenethylamines. Alpha-PVP is a very powerful stimulant of which there are few references.

This compound resembles methylenedioxypyrovalerone (also known as MDPV and is found in another medicine called bath salts) both in its chemical structure and in its effects on the body. While the consumption of the active ingredient in bath salts is illegal, alpha-PVP is still legal in Spain.

The effects of the Flakka: “$ 5 madness”

Flakka is also known as “The Hulk’s Drug” or “Crazy $ 5” for its energizing effects and low price. This drug causes feelings of euphoria, heightened alertness, sexual arousal, Feeling of having more energy and more movement. But many individuals who consume this substance also experience negative symptoms, such as: panic attacks, psychosis, paranoia, hallucinations, extreme aggressiveness, hypertension, cardiac arrhythmias and hyperthermia (with a body temperature above 38 degrees).

The euphoria produced by this substance soon disappears, so many consumers feel the urge to consume Flakka again soon. These redosifications increase the appearance of side effects and they can cause irreparable harm to consumers. Like other similar substances, the drug Flakka can cause tolerance and dependence.

Flakka, the ‘Hulk drug’, is already in Spain

In the United States and Asia, the use of this drug is more and more common due to its low price and almost immediate effects, but in Spain no cases have been reported to date. A few weeks ago, in Magaluf, The first case of consumption of Flakka in Spain has emerged.

Due to the ingestion of medication, a young Briton was admitted to Son Espales hospital with 180 heartbeats, hyperthermia (38 degrees) and a state of paranoia. Despite the severity of her symptoms, doctors managed to save her life.

Spanish authorities on alert for the arrival of summer

Consumption of this synthetic stimulant is common in the Americas. Last year, they confiscated 1,500 pounds of alpha-PVP in the United States. The Florida region has the highest number of reported drug abuse cases in this country, and Teresa Calero, a therapist at Baptist Health South’s addiction treatment center in Miami, says that “over the past three years, he There has been a 780% increase in the consumption of this substance, as more than 600 people poisoned by Flakka have been treated in Florida this year. “

In Europe, there are also concerns about the use of this drug, as new psychoactive substances are detected every year. In 2013, 115 kilograms of alpha-PVP were confiscated on the European continent, according to the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction. In Spain the warning signal has been given, as this case of poisoning occurs just at the start of the summer season. The holidays and the increased influx into recreational areas typical of this time of year are of great concern to the police authorities, who have already made several arrests in the Costa del Sol region in connection with the manufacturing and the distribution of the drug Flakka.

Bibliographical references:

  • Aarde S, Creehan K, Vandewater S, Dickerson T, Taffe M. (2015). Potency and in vivo efficacy of the new catinone α-pyrrolidinopentiophenone and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone: self-administration and locomotor stimulation in male rats

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