Flakka is the most recent synthetic compound that has alarmed the public health sector. This new designer drug called alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (alpha-PVP) is a tweaked version of bath salts. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The drug takes on the form of a pink or white, nasty-smelling crystal that can be snorted, eaten, injected or even vaporized in an e-cigarette. When vaporized, overdosing on the drug may happen as the drug quickly enters into the bloodstream. Flakka is dose-specific that even a minute amount will give the user his desired effect. As alpha-PVP is a stimulant, a state of hyper-stimulation, hallucinations and paranoia that could result in self-injury and violent aggression are possible.
This drug has the combined effects of methamphetamine and cocaine without the price tag. Flakka has been considered a controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration since 2014.
Screening Cut-Off and Detection Time
A standard urine drug test kit does not detect synthetic cathinones found in alpha- pyrrolidinopentiophenone and in other bath salts. However, there are now quantitative testing for primary chemicals such as A-PVP, MDPV, DMAA, Methylone, Mephedrone and Pentedrone. These urine drug tests are called a bath salt drug test kit or Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) urine drug test. The cut-off for Alpha-PVP is 2.0 ng/ml and has a detection time of 1-3 days after drug consumption.
DEA Drug Class
The United States Code (USC) Controlled Substance Act is the system followed and implemented by the Drug Enforcement Administration. There are five schedules of controlled substances labeled from 1-V, with the classification based on the pertaining drug’s medical applications, safety, and abuse potential.
In January 2014, Alpha-PVP was placed under Schedule I by emergency scheduling procedure in the United States.
What Type of Drug is Flakka?
Flakka is a very powerful psychoactive stimulant that is similar to MDPV and pyrovalerone. It is abused mostly for its euphoric effect, alertness, excitement, improved productivity, strength and endurance. This compound has been available online as recreational designer drug.
Forms and Routes of Administration
Flakka is often sold online as crystalline rock. It comes in different forms and can be eaten, injected, smoked or snorted.
Powder – Crystalline Flakka bought online are often repacked in capsules for oral consumption. Its dosage is relatively unknown thus the probability of overdosing is high. When finely ground, Flakka can be used for snorting for a more quick, concentrated and direct rush. Very recently, gummie bears coated with finely ground Flakka that looked like sugar were made available.
Solution – When mixed with a liquid base such as dextrose, the drug can be directly injected into the vein. Liquid Flakka is also made available for vaporizer pens or e-cigarettes. Vaping makes the effects of Flakka worst for the user.
Flakka simulates the combined effects of methamphetamine and cocaine. Because it is 10x more potent than cocaine, is cheap and accessible online, this drug has become very popular to college-age adults. The euphoria effected by this drug is quite intense and getting off takes longer than cocaine or meth.
Flakka has the tendency to increase a user’s body temperature to 104 Degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Spiked temperature can lead to kidney damage or failure which could ultimately lead to death. Flakka also elevates blood pressure which could lead to stroke, heart attack or heart failure, and aneurysm.
History of FLAKKA
Flakka or A-PVP is a synthetic cathinone, a category under which the natural, mild, stimulant khat belong. Chemical-wise, this chemical is a more powerful, next generation bath salts.
A-PVP was patented in 1967. It has the molecular formula of C15H21NO, a cathione that is structurally related to methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and pyrovalerone. Both chemicals have been known to affect the body’s dopamine and norepinephrine level.
Flakka became available to the public in the United States in January 2013. By April 2013, the drug was mentioned in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology. By 2014, the drug was gaining so much popularity and was distributed as Flakka.
No one seems to know how A-PVP came to be called Flakka. Some say the name could be a variation of the Spanish slang word “la flaca” which means “skinny girl”. Some say the term is random and quite fittingly describes what a person high on this drug feels. A popular street name for A-PVP is “gravel” as the pink and white crystals look like those placed in fish aquariums.