Flakka is the common street name for alpha-PVP, a synthetic stimulant that is used recreationally and can be very dangerous to health. Users tend to become hyper-stimulated and delirious, often having hallucinations and entering a state of paranoia.
Patients undergo flakka drug detox at a medical facility or a certified treatment facility which usually consists of a short-term residential stay. This allows the user to safely come down off the drug while having medical oversight of any withdrawal symptoms, cravings and mental health complications they may be having. When the patient is no longer having severe symptoms and feels they have a level of control over cravings for the drug, they usually move on to a longer period of inpatient treatment in a less restrictive facility.
Flakka use presents some unique challenges when it comes to detox. Patients are often not in their right mind, and may be psychotic and violent. At the very least they will usually be acting erratically and not in a mental state to make rational decisions. The state of “excited delirium” that patients can enter when taking flakka is also medically dangerous as it can elevate body temperatures well above normal, and shoots the body full of adrenaline giving the user an immunity to pain and abnormal strength.
Patients will thus usually need to be medicated and placed in a secured psychiatric ward until the drug is out of their system. Detox may be extended if they continue to display psychotic symptoms even after the drug is no longer active in their body. They receive any medications that may be helpful to them during this time, and underlying mental health issues can be identified and treated as well.
Flakka has extreme physical and mental symptoms that put both the user and those around them in serious danger. As such, someone who is high on flakka should be placed into detox at a medical facility as soon as possible.
Since flakka is so new, science is still catching up with the exact effects it has on the brain and its potential for addiction. But it is known at this point that it can be addictive, and it is thought to at least have as much potential for addiction as bath salts (since they share very common core ingredients). It is very unlikely that anyone addicted to a substance will be able to quit that addiction on their own.
Since flakka’s effects are still being studied and understood by medical science, at this time there are no real program guidelines for detoxing from it. Since it shares many qualities with other synthetic designer drugs, however, experience with those can be used as a base for treatment guidelines.
Since flakka is potentially addictive, detox generally follows the course set by other addictive drugs. Patients will spend a few days to a week residing in a medical facility under constant supervision. This time allows the drug to exit their system and gives medical staff an opportunity to diagnose underlying mental health issues or any other physical problems that might be a complication.
The physical effects of this drug can be treated through the use of benzodiazepines, which help to counteract the agitation and abnormal behavior that it produces. If the individual’s heart has been affected by drug use, medical staff at a professional rehab center can prescribe and administer appropriate medication to help stabilize heart rate and blood pressure. There are no other specific drugs at this time that are used for the treatment of flakka abuse, but medication management has proven to be the most effective method thus far. Also, patients may be given an anti-psychotic medicine to counter its effects while in detox.
A residential treatment center gives flakka addicts the support they need to get off of this highly dangerous and toxic drug. With a drug this powerful, quitting without medical support is not recommended. At an inpatient rehab center, patients will have round-the-clock care and supervision to ensure a successful recovery.
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