Flakka: What You Need To Know

August 18, 2015

 
By Terence T. Gorski
August 19, 2015

Cautionary Note: Flakka is a relatively new drug that can cause extreme behavioral reactions during intoxication and immediately after using. There are also reports of long-lasting neurological effects. It is definitely a dangerous drug that is rapidly entering the drug-using culture. 

It is important to be cautious not to exaggerate the incident rate (number of people using it) or the type and severity of symptoms (stripping down naked and chasing people down like a fast-moving zombie). 

The information in this blog is summarized by usually reliable news reporting sources on the Internet and corresponds with real incidents reported to me by colleagues and clients. It is important, however, to be cautious about extreme reports of new designer drugs. 

According to Jacob Sullim in his blog on reason.com, there are three designer-drugs that are closely-related to Flakka that are recently entering the United States. These are — meow-meow, krokodil, and Jenkem. 

  1. Meow meow, is a nickname for mephedrone, another synthetic cathinone sold as “bath salts.” and
  2. Krokodil, is a homemade version of the narcotic painkiller desomorphine, which was first synthesized in 1932 and marketed under the brand name Permoid. Krokodil caught on in Russia as a cheap substitute for heroin because it could be made from codeine, which was available there without a prescription. 
  3. Jenkem is fermented human waste that supposedly generates intoxicating fumes when inhaled. 

When doing internet research on any new drug or controversial issue, I strongly recommend you do a Google Search on the topic and the another on the topic plus the word “hoax.” This will give your review more balance. 

To get a balanced mind-set about Flakka it may be helpful to read this blog from Reason.com: http://reason.com/blog/2015/06/17/flakka-turns-people-into-zombies-just-li

With these cautions in mind, I hope this blog will summarize some information about Flakka that will help you to better understand the epidemic of Flakka as it emerges in the USA. 

Summary:

Starting in the Spring of 2015 a new drug of abuse called Flakka or Gravel was smuggled into South Florida and rapidly made it’s way up to Northern Florida and beyond. Its use is rapidly spreading across other states leaving a trail of victims behind.

Flakka, a variation of synthetic substances known as bath salts, is an illicit drug concocted in labs overseas and shipped into North America.

Flakka delivers a cheap, powerful high while acting as an amphetamine, according to officials. The drug can be snorted, smoked or taken by mouth and can cause violent behavior.

Flakka induces paranoia, psychosis and extreme aggression. Users high on this dangerous drug have attacked authorities, caused disruptions on the streets and in emergency rooms, engaged in self-injurious behavior, including in one case, and in one case, a man impaled himself on a spiked fence.

Detailed Information about Flakka.

What is flakka?

Flakka, which  is also called gravel because its crystals resemble small pebbles, is a stimulate drug with a chemical composition similar to bath salts. The active ingredient in Flakk is alpha-PVP, a synthetic version of cathinone, the active ingredient in the stimulant shrub qat, which is also the active ingredient in bath salts. 

What Is Flakka-induced Excited Delerium?

In high doses, Flakka induces “excited delirium” in which users’ body temperature can rise to up to 42 C, which might explain why so many users end up naked while hallucinating. People report stripping off their clothing because they feel like they are on fir or burning up. 

How is Flakka ingested?

Flakka can be taken in different ways:

  • injected,
  • swallowed,
  • smoked or
  • snorted.

Can people overdose on Flakka?

Yes! Especially when it is smoked. Vaporizing and the smoking Flakka allows the drug to very quickly enter the bloodstream and may make it particularly easy to overdose.

What is the chemical composition of Flakka?

Since Flakka in manufactured in illegal labs overseas and can be cut by other chemicals before sale in the USA, there are differences in each batch of Flakka analyzed.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Flakka is essentially a stimulant hallucinogenic. The main ingredient in all batches of Flakka is alpha-PVP, which is linked to cathinone, the drug found in bath salts. 

Flakka is a stimulant drug and users often mix it methamphetamine to increase the intensity of the stimulant high.

In July 2012, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act made it illegal to possess, use, or distribute many of the chemicals used to make bath salts, including Mephedrone and MDPV. Methylone, another such chemical, remains under a DEA regulatory ban. Alpha-PVP, the active ingredient in Flakka, has not yet been banned. 

What are the behavioral effects of Flakka?

Alpha-PVP is a stimulant, so its users encounter:

  • alertness,
  • wakefulness,
  • tremors,
  • agitation,
  • irrational rage,
  • violence

Flakka, when taken in high doses, induces “excited delirium” in which the users’ body temperature can rise to up to 42 C, which might explain why so many users end up naked while hallucinating and panicking because they feel like they are on fire or “burning up.”

What does Flakka look like?

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Flakka “takes the form of a white or pink, foul-smelling crystal,”

Dr. James N. Hall, an epidemiologist and co-director of the U.S. Center for the Study and Prevention of Substance Abuse at Nova Southeastern University, told NBC News.

“Some [users] get high, some get very sick, and many become addicted. Some go crazy and even a few die. But they don’t know what they are taking or what’s going to happen to them,” he said.

Some people experience heart problems, muscle breakdown or even kidney failure. The NIH says Flakka has been linked to deaths by suicide and heart attack.

Hall says flakka’s name has Spanish origins. “Flaco” means thin, while “la flaca” in rough translation is a party term for pretty, thin girl.

“They give [synthetic drugs] names that are hip and cool and making it great for sales,” he told NBC.

What is the street value of Flakka?

Flakka is relatively cheap. A single dose is about a tenth of a gram which has a street value of about $5.

What are common complications of Flakka? 

1. Flakka can make the drug user acutely agitated, making them irrational and vetberbally aggressive   This puts the Flakka patient at high risk of injuring self or others.  

2. These patients are a threat to themselves, the people around them, and the first responders (police, EMS) who are there to help them. It is common to hear reports that it takes multiple people to restrain and sedate these patients. 

3. Rescue crews and emergency department staff need to give sedatives to these patients as soon as possible to calm them and make them safe.

4. If police interventional be required to control an acutely aitate Flalka. This can result in officers using a  Taser or other methods to restrain the patient that have the potential to harm the individual. Officers need to rember that in these severe states of agitation, panic and adrenalin increase the patient’s strength while diminishing their perception of pain. Their paranoi is often focused on the first responders. 

5. Medically, the severe consequences of the agitation caused by the drug appear later. Patients who are agitated can go into a state called “excited delirium,” which is a medical emergency. 

6. In the excited delirium state, restrained patients struggle to free themselves, scream, flail, and can even have seizures. 

7. This struggling causes a high core body temperature called hyperthermia

8. The combination of a high body temperature and the extreme muscle overactivity can cause other metabolic problems to happen in the body. 

9. Muscle tissue begins to break down, releasing proteins and other cellular products into the bloodstream, in a process called rhabdomyolysis

10. The extreme struggling can also cause dehydration. 

11. The end result of the cellular products and proteins released during rhabdomyolysis and dehydration can impair the filtering function of the kidneys, leading to renal failure and death. 
Gorski Books: www.cenaps.com 

The Drudge Report Archives contains articles which historically track the introduction and growth in the use of Flakka: http://www.drudgereportarchives.com/dsp/search.htm?searchFor=flakka

Here is an article from Fusion.net that described the impact of Flakka from an “on-the-street” point of view: http://fusion.net/story/117767/a-complete-guide-to-flakka-the-horrible-street-drug-terrorizing-south-florida/ 

Flakka: Special Obstscles in Treatment: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-flakka-treatment-issues-20150813-story.html 

This blog describes the major complications that can occur when treating Flakka patients: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/mobileart.asp?articlekey=188097 

References:

REFERENCES:

“‘Bath Salts’ Intoxication.” N Engl J Med 365 Sept. 8, 2011: 967-968. <http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1107097&gt;

Kaizaki, A., S. Tanaka, and S. Numazawa. “New recreational drug 1-phenyl-2-(1-pyrrolidinyl)-1-pentanone (alpha-PVP) activates central nervous system via dopaminergic neuron.” J Toxicol Sci 39.1 Feb. 2014: 1-6. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24418703&gt;.

“The Science of Alpha-PVP (‘Gravel’), a Second-Generation Bath Salt.” The Poison Review. Mar. 14, 2014. <http://www.thepoisonreview.com/2014/03/14/the-science-of-alpha-pvp-gravel-a-second-generation-bath-salt/&gt;.

“Violent, Impaired and/or Excited Delirium (ExDS) Patient.” Greater Broward EMS Medical Director’s Association. <http://www.gbemda.org/adult-2/2-5-adult-neurologic-emergencies/2-5-2-violent-andor-impaired-patient&gt;.


Lying and Second Chances

January 18, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski
Author (The Books of Terence T. Gorski)

“For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth.” ~ Bo Bennett

When you catch someone telling a lie, should you give him or her a second chance? Or should you follow the advice of William Shakespeare: “Trust not him that hath once broken faith.”

This question, when approached thoughtfully, is more difficult to answer than it first appears.

When I ask people whether they should give a second chance to someone who tells them a lie, the answers I get range from “absolutely yes” to “absolutely no.”

Other people have developed rules for when to give a second chance and when to cut their losses by getting the person out of their life, or at least out of their box of sensitive secrets.

The answer to the question of what to do when you discover they are lying depends upon how we define the idea of telling lies and telling the truth. So let’s ask the tough questions that are not as easy to answer as they may seem.

What is a lie?

Here’s the dictionary definition: “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
Synonyms include prevarication and falsification. Antonyms include truth.

What is the truth?

The dictionary tells us that it is “the true actual state of a matter. That which is really happening or going on. Conformity with the facts or reality.” The the concept of the truth is further clarified as: “the real facts about something: the things that are true: the quality or state of being true: a statement or idea that is true or accepted as true; A statement that is supported by evidence.”

Wow! These are really circular definitions that essentially tell us “the truth is what is true!”

These definitions of truth beg a very important issue: the truth is rarely absolute and is usually relative to what is accepted as truth at the time and the “truth as we see it from our point of view.”

Most of the time to “tell the truth” means to “explain our best understanding given our point of view, the extent of our knowledge, and the currently best known and most widely accepted evidence.”

Honesty and lying are as much about the intent to deceive as it is about giving mistaken information.

If you make an honest mistake in solving a mathematical problem, it is usually not considered a lie. It is a mistake or unintentional error. It might be a lie if you deliberately falsify the answers for some secondary gain.

So, in my opinion, it would make sense to make the distinction between an honest mistake (I believe that what I am saying to be factual or true) and a lie (I know what is true and deliberately try to tell you something else).

I find that most people who tell one lie (i.e tell others that something is true when they know that it is not), tend to tell other lies as well. They use lies as an habitual tool to gain things of value in life or to deny some painful truths.

Sometimes the habitual liar can convince themselves that a lie is actually true. This can be a useful skill if you have to pass a lie detector test. Some people are skilled at catching people who are telling lies. This can be a useful skill to recognize and avoid getting hurt by con men and habitual liars.

Most actively addicted people tell lies about their alcohol and other drug use. They minimize how much they use and try to cover up the damage caused by their use.

Some addicts don’t actually lie, they just block out some aspects of reality so they are intentionally ignorant. This is called being sincerely deluded.

Must alcoholics, for example, never count the number of drinks they have or add up how much money they are spending on alcohol or drugs. They keep themselves willfully or intentionally ignorant in order to avoid facing the truth.

The truth is a continually evolving thing based upon our best understanding at the time. All we can really tell someone is our best understanding of the truth as Wevsee it at the current time and then explain why we believe it to be true (i.e. Present the evidence we have that makes us believe that it is true).

In the everyday world we operate on a common-sense definition of truth.

– I did or did not do this!
– I was or was not at a certain place at a specific time!
– This is what has happened in the past !
– This is what is happening now!
– This is what I believe will happen in the future!

Anyone who tells you they know exactly what will happen in the future is guessing or is sincerely deluded. No one can be certain about the future.

Many people have beliefs without evidence. They accept things are true without any real proof. Every culture teaches thousands of truths, both little and big, that people are supposed to accept as true.

So what should you do if you believe someone is lying to you?

The first step is to ask the question again and make sure you are understanding their answer. Many accusations of telling a lie are based in poor communication and misunderstanding.

Tell the other person very clearly that you don’t believe it is true and present your evidence. Tell them you are open to reconsider if they have better evidence. This gives the people their day in court. They get to describe the “truth as they see it from their point of view.”

Before jumping to conclusions it is helpful to detach, back up, observe, and investigate. The serious problem is not a single lie told in isolation to deal with a specific situation. The most serious problem is the person who uses deceit and dishonesty as a habitual way to cope with life.

If there is a pattern of lying, it is foolish to trust. Many people are habitual liars. In other words they are in the habit of twisting the truth to get what they want.

Trust must be earned. It must be built little by little, one step at a time. When building a relationship, it is best to self-disclose a little bit at a time. If the person responds by self-disclosing at the same level to you, go back a try again. If they continue self-disclose at the level that you are they are, they are probable trustworthy. If they don’t reciprocate, be wary and ask yourself if they are trying to hide something or to get you at a disadvantage by knowing more about you than you know about them.

If what you told them in confidence ends up on the grapevine, run the other way. People who gossip and tell you the secrets of others that were told to them in confidence will almost certainly do the same to you.

Recovery demands a policy of rigorous honesty this means:

– The willingness to look honestly at yourself and your past behavior;
– The intent to be honest by reporting the truth as you believe it to be while acknowledging that “I might be wrong.”
– To promptly admit mistakes and be willing to correct them;
– To look with a critical eye at what you believe and the evidence you have to support that belief; and
– To be willing to act in faith upon your best understanding of the truth until you find new and more compelling evidence that causes you to change your mind.

Rigorous honesty is a skill that needs to be learned and practiced. This is because, as fallible human beings we are prone to lie to ourselves and it others. It is also because the truth is hard to find.

LIVE SOBER – BE RESPONSIBLE -LIVE FREE

Don’t miss Terry Gorski’s books and workbooks on recognizing and managing denial.

Denial Management Counseling (DMC)

The Books of Terence T. Gorski


Burn Out: What I Do To Avoid It

January 11, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski
Author, my books can be found at www.relapse.

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why.” – Mark Twain

I keep myself from burning out and becoming jaded by doing my best to focus my mind on the following things:

1. Praying: My primary repetitive prayer is: “God teach me of your will for me and give me the courage to carry that out.”

2. Renewing My Commitment To Help: I keep reinforcing that “we keep it by giving it away.” When we help others without trying to control those we are helping and without allowing ourselves to be exploited it helps me keep a balanced perspective.

3. I Dream Big: I see myself as a part of the revolution of the human spirit and human consciousness that will slowly, one person at a time, create a sober and responsible world.

4. I Manage My Expectations: I hope for the best when doing my work. I am prepared for the worst.

5. I Keep Perspective: I can’t do it alone, I can only do my part. I realize the power of a team of people working in harmony towards the same goal is powerful. I strive to stay focused on building a sober and responsible world one day at a time with the help of others.

6. I Take Time For Myself: I have areas of interest that focus my mind on many other things that I find inspiring or helpful. I read voraciously and take the lessons from everything I read that can lift my spirits and give me a positive and heroic fantasy life — kind of like I am “The Walter Mitty of the Addiction Field.”

7. I Dream Big: I strive work day-by-day to contribute things to others that will leave the world a better place. This is called building a legacy in the minds and hearts of others.

8. I Deal With Reality: I Deal With the immediate reality that confronts me by trying to do the next right thing to keep moving toward creating my life goal.

9. I Transcend Fear: I have developed the habit of facing fear without letting the fear control me. My favorite tool for this is Frank Herbert’s Litany Against Fear: “I must not fear. Fear is the mind killer – the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit my fear to pass over me through me. When it has gone past I will turn my inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I remain.

10. I copiously reflect upon the deep meaning of The Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

11. I Collect Quotable Quotes: My two favorites are: “One person can make a difference and every person should try.” ~ John F. Kennedy; and “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. ~ Albert Einstein.

12. I Don’t Take Myself to Seriously: I try to learn something from everyone I meet and everything I do. I strive to be humble by “accepting the things I cannot change, changing the things that I can, and learning to know the difference.” I act upon my strengths without asking for permission. I overcome or compensate for my weaknesses by asking for and receiving help.

To sum it up, I recognize that I am a fallible human being; that I will die and have limited time to live; and that it’s up to me to do the best I can with the cards I am dealt in life. I know that I might be wrong so I stay open to learning, changing and growing. I accept the fact that I am responsible for my life, what I choose to do and not do, and what U choose to focus my mind upon. I look up all words I read or hear to understand what they mean. I realize that language programs the brain/mind so I careful about what I say to myself and others.

Carpe Diem!

Illigitimi non carborundum!

I also renew myself by escaping into Criminal Minds (Spencer is my favorite character) and NCIS (my two favorite character are Gibbs and McGee).

I want to leave a positive legacy and have given a lot of thought to what I want to pass forward to future generations. Here are twenty-five Ideas I want to pass forward to the next generation.

Gorski Books: www.relapse.org

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Fear, Silence, and Speaking Out

January 10, 2015

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Don’t let anyone frighten you into silence.

See the blog on arrogance and courage
https://terrygorski.com/2013/10/18/arrogance-has-a-place/


What Do You Know?

January 10, 2015

The Books of Terence T. Gorski

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There are three things to consider:

1. The things we know that we know.

2. The things we know that we don’t know.

3. The things we don’t know that we don’t know.

The last is potentially the most dangerous.


Concerned Veterans for America

January 10, 2015

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Learn from the few who have stood between you and the guns of the enemy.

“We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” ~ George Orwell

Concerned Veterans for America
http://cv4a.org


The Progression of Alcohol and Other Drug Problems

January 10, 2015

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By Terence T. Gorski, Gorski Books

This is an excerpt from the book by Terry Gorski
entitled: Straight Talk About Addiction

In this blog, we’re going to look at the problems people have with alcohol and other drugs.

Let us start with a simple fact: Alcohol and drug problems are common.

About two-thirds of all Americans drink. About one-third do not. Of those who drink, about half develop alcohol-related problems.

Somewhere between 6 and 10 percent of all Americans will become alcoholics.

In addition to alcohol, many people use illegal drugs and abuse prescription medications.

When you add it all together, about 15% of all people will have serious problems with alcohol or other drugs at some point in their lives.

One thing is certain – no one starts drinking or drugging with the goal of getting addicted. People do not wake up in the morning and say: “Gee, this is beautiful day, I think I’ll go out and get addicted! That’s just not how it works.

Addiction is a slow and insidious process. It sneaks up on people from behind, when they are not looking. Here is how it happens.

When some people start using alcohol and other drugs, they feel really good. The drugs make them feel better than they have ever felt before. Therefore, they keep drinking and drugging.

They focus on enjoying the good times and get in the habit of pushing the bad times out of their minds. This allows the disease of addiction to quietly sneak in through the back door. The “Big Book “of Alcoholics Anonymous says it better than I ever could – Addiction is “cunning, baffling, and powerful.”

Addiction comes into our lives posing as a friend and then slowly grows into a monster that can destroy us.

There was once a man named Ted. His best friend gave him a little kitten. Ted loved that soft cuddly little cat and made it a part of his life. As time went by the cat kept growing and growing. It started to get so big that it was causing problems. It would knock things off the counters, break things, and tear up the house.

Ted loved the cat so much, that he decided to ignore the problems. By the time the cat was six months old, it was clear to everyone that this was no ordinary cat. Ted’s friend had given him a baby mountain lion.

Knowing this, however, didn’t change Ted’s feelings. He loved his “cat so much that he decided to keep it. After all, what harm could it do? He would just take some extra precautions and everything would be fine.

About eight months later a friend came over to visit. Ted’s mountain lion attacked his friend. When Ted tried to pull the cat off of his friend, the mountain lion turned on him and clawed Ted so badly that he nearly died.

Addiction is a lot like Ted’s mountain lion. It starts out as a cute and cuddly little thing that brings a lot of joy, fun, and excitement into our lives. Then the addiction starts to grow up.

As it grows, our addiction turns into a vicious monster that destroys our lives. In this section, we will look at how this happens.

This is an excerpt from the book by Terry Gorski
entitled: Straight Talk About Addiction

Gorski Books: www.relapse.org
Gorski Home Studies: www.cenaps.com<

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