The side effects of synthetic drugs, such as Spice (synthetic marijuana) and ‘bath salts’ (MDPV), are often unpredictable and can be extremely dangerous. The chemical formulas of these types of drugs are constantly being altered in an effort to stay one step ahead of the authorities, which means there are very few (if any) human trials before the compounds hit the market.
One of the latest synthetic drugs that has been making the news headlines is known as Flakka (alpha-PVP). The new drug has had widespread use in the southern states, especially Florida. Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that alpha-PVP seems to be as equivalently potent as a stimulant, and therefore as addictive as the drugs cousin, MDPV, Medical Xpress reports.
“There have been assertions that flakka is somehow worse than MDPV, but this study shows that the two are very similar,” said Michael A. Taffe, an associate professor at TSRI.
However, study co-author Tobin J. Dickerson adds, “That doesn’t mean that flakka use is ‘safe’—our data show that flakka is as potent as MDPV, making it a very good stimulant, arguably with worse addiction liability than methamphetamine.”
Flakka, which comes in a crystalline rock form, can be consumed in a number of ways – it can be:
- Vaped in an E-Cigarette
While the side effects of Flakka use vary, users often show signs of:
- Extreme Violence
- Paranoid Psychoses
- Compulsive Nudity
- Zombie-like Behavior
- Superhuman Strength
Research is still being conducted on the long term effects of the drug, as well as the health problems that may arise from continued use. It is already known that Flakka can affect the kidneys, leading to kidney failure or death.
The findings were published in the journal Psychopharmacology.