Colloquially known as flakka or gravel, α-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone is a synthetic drug with belongs to the cathinone class and is sold as a designer drug. It is called as “gravel” for its white crystalline appearance. Recent reports have suggested that administration of this drug can lead to adverse effects which are worse than that of cocaine. The thin line between the right and the wrong amount of dosage of this drug is life threatening and can even lead to death.
Composition and Chemistry
This synthetic drug belongs to the cathinone class and is the ketone analog of prolintane. The mode of action that is witnessed after taking the drug is the opening of the nor-epinephrine and dopamine channels. It can lead the value of IC50 up to 14.2 and 12.8 nM. The drug can be administered intravenously, orally through intranasal or rectal pathway as well.
Detection of Flakka in the system
The drug if consumed by an individual can be detected by the process of liquid chromatography-mass spectroscopy. It is mainly done on live individuals or admitted patients in the hospital with the drug overdose to determine the amount of damage. It is also done in forensic departments to determine the dosage the reason for the death of any individual.
Economy and legal status
One of the major problems of this drug is that it is readily available. In several parts of the world, the drug is sold synthetically mixed with bath salts and people are not even aware of it. Not just that, it is also available in doses for a meagre $5 in several parts of the United States.
It is a schedule I drug in several areas of the world like that of New Mexico, Florida, Oklahoma and Virginia. It is even banned in several countries, France, Germany, Hungary and Ireland to name a few.
Flakka – Effects
The flakka is a street type drug which is derived from the chemicals originating from the “khat plant” that are available in Somalia and several other parts of the middle east. The individuals under the effect of this drug show symptoms of being in a trance and hallucinating things followed by of behavioral changes.
The effects of the drug can be divided into short-term and long-term effects.
Short-Term Effects of Flakka
The primary mode of action that the drug follows is just increasing the concentration of dopamine in the brain region. Flakka tampers with the action of the neurotransmitter and blocks its reuptake due to which the individual experiences a state of euphoria. This is mainly because of the neurotransmitter. Dopamine is responsible for regulating the reward and punishment centers in the brain and overstimulation of the brain cells and the receptors results in a “good feeling”. An individual displays zombie-like behaviour as a manifestation of intake of Flakka.
Some of the major short-term effects are:
- Ecstatic feeling
- Increase of heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
- Violent behaviour
- Psychotic Rage (at times)
The short-term effects might not sound a lot serious, but the continued consumption of the drug might result in drug abuse. With time, this may lead to deteriorating health and onset of depression. Apart from that, Flakka tends to increase the body temperature of an individual to such extents that it disturbs the body’s homeostasis, resulting in muscle breakdown and kidney failure.
Flakka – Effects on a long term basis
Flakka is one of the recently discovered drugs and the research regarding the long-term implications of the drug is yet not established. The only kind of long term effects that is administered is relapses due to the drug abuse and renal failure.
The effects in the brain and the other parts of the body are yet to be found. The research is still going on.
How long Flakka stay in your system?
The drug after its intake can linger in the body from a minimum of 3 to 4 hours to a maximum of a few days. When the count reaches days, the effect of the drug is counteracted with Heroin or Cocaine which has its side-effects on the body as well.
The epidemiologists regard Flakka as the drug which causes a state of “excited delirium” for the consumer. The exact amount of time that the drug stays in the body fluid is unknown. It can stretch up to days depending on the individual and the amount that has been consumed. If the thin line of the correct dose is surpassed, the individual can even face death.
This street drug has very adverse side-effects in which the drug in the system can make the individual do violent things. It makes the particular craving for more of that “good feeling” due to which the person is bound to consume more drugs to counteract its effect. It tends to make the person feel numb but gives a “happy feeling”.
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