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05-04-15 FLAKKA - The new designer drug on the block?

Question of the Week

May 4, 2015

FLAKKA – The new designer drug on the block?

A new stimulant is trending around the nation. It’s called FLAKKA. The state of Florida seems to be the epicenter for this “new” designer drug.  Is Tennessee next?

WHAT IS IT?

It’s a new twist to synthetic cathinones. The first generation bath salts (MDPV, mephedrone and methylone) and now the second generation analogue contains alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP).  AKA: “flakka” and “gravel” are street names.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Alpha-PVP contains a pyrrolidine ring, a 5-sided nitrogen containing component that enables the molecule to effectively block the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, with much weaker effects at the serotonin transporter. (The Poison Review)

HOW IS IT USED?

User reports indicate that it can be swallowed, insufflated, administered sublingually and vaporized. (www.erowid.org, Erowid Experiences Vaults)

Vaporizing sends the drug very quickly into the bloodstream. Making it very easy to overdose. Also, makes it easier to elude detection by law enforcement officials.

OVERDOSE EFFECTS:

Agitation, Tachycardia, Psychosis, Violent Behavior, Excited Delirium (hyperthermia, kidney failure and even death)

TREATMENT:

There are no specific antidotes for this overdose. The focus of treatment is good supportive care. If you suspect an overdose on Flakka or Gravel contact the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for the latest treatment recommendations.

NEWS REPORTS:

A man high on flakka attacked an officer, proclaimed himself God and had sexual relations with a tree, according to a report. (Bradenton Herald, newspaper)

Exclusive: Man On “Flakka” Impaled While Trying To Climb Fence (CBSMiami.com)

 

This Question prepared by:  Jeff Moore, RN, CSPI (Certified Specialist in Poison Information) Tennessee Poison Center