What is the flakka drug and bath salts?

Flakka is a new, designer drug that has gained popularity over the past five years. Florida, Texas, and Ohio are among the few states to experience a real flakka drug outbreak. Flakka is a stimulant that is man-made. It is referred to as “gravel” on the street because of its white, crystal-like pieces. The flakka drug has side effects that mock those of bath salts. It contains a compound known as Alpha-PVP (α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone). Alpha-PVP is comparable in structure to MDPV (Methylenedioxypyrovalerone). It is an engineered drug that is identified with cathinone. Flakka can be snorted, smoked, infused or ingested.

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) listed Alpha-PVP as a Schedule I drug since 2014. Flakka is manufactured in a crystalline rock form. It is usually sold online, repackaged in capsules or available to put into an e-cigarette. This makes it easy to conceal or use in public. The infamous flakka drug is ten times more potent than Ritalin (amphetamine). In recent studies, the side effects of flakka and bath salts among animals revealed a lot of similarities in terms of potency and side effects. Findings from this study claim that the two drugs provide an equal rate of drug addiction when abused.

Flakka Drug Outbreak Effects and Headlines

Flakka is a powerful drug that poses extreme dangers to one’s physical and mental health. The flakka drug outbreak continues to shock society. The flakka drug earned the nickname, “zombie drug” due to some of the crazy stories that have circulated over the years. Each time drug makes the news, it seems to be a ridiculous story.

In 2016, reports surfaced that a 19-year-old teenager and student of Florida State University (FSU), Austin Harrouf,  stabbed a couple to death at their home in Florida. The major headline was about this same teenager gnawing at the husband’s face, shortly after the stabbing incident!! An official also stated,

“The teen was grunting like an animal as police tried subduing him during the attack.”

Specialists say Harrouff was high on flakka, an addictive designer drug that causes paranoia and psychosis. Flakka was also connected to the notorious, face-eating assault in Miami seven years ago.

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A Multifaceted Approach to Residential Addiction Treatment for Men

To improve your chance of recovery, our men’s rehab program focuses on three significant factors of treatment: your mind, body, and spirit. As one or more of these areas become unbalanced, it can directly contribute to your substance use disorder. Our facilities and resources are designed to help you grow and heal in each area so that your recovery can be long-lasting and comprehensive.

All our providers are experts in their field, utilizing specialized treatment programs for each individual. By developing an individualized approach for each of our guests, clients can successfully break old habits and work to promote new and healthy ones.

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Substance use disorder often begins in the mind. We provide daily services to help our guests restore proper cognitive thinking and processing skills. Our experienced clinicians foster healing through group therapy and individual therapy sessions using the latest advances in research in the mental health field. The professionals at Serenity Springs realize that drinking and illicit drug use are often symptoms of mental health disorders and rarely the root cause. The goal is to have guests leave the program with mental clarity and an understanding of their situation.



Drug and alcohol abuse can destroy the body. Serenity Springs’ treatment options help the body heal through proper nutrition, exercise, and supplementation. You’ll be able to begin healing physically on day one of treatment. Our delicious meals are prepared by a professional chef. Additionally, guests at our Florida rehab center have access to healthy snacks 24 hours a day. Our mission is to have guests leave Serenity Springs with their bodies feeling completely rejuvenated.

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Our treatment program is one of the best male rehabilitation centers in Florida—we go beyond the physical and mental to focus on the core of alcohol addiction: healing broken spirits. Beginning with daily meditation, guests work individually and in support groups every day to develop self-discipline and change their perspective on life. Guests work through a 12-step program with experienced staff members who have recovered from addiction by going through the same process. With the framework to produce an influential spiritual experience, guests leave our substance abuse treatment program with newfound freedom and happiness they never thought possible.

What do the flakka drug and bath salts feel like?

Like cathinone, alpha-PVP is a type of stimulant, colloquially called an “upper.” Uppers are linked with feelings of euphoria, enhanced alertness and wakefulness, and increased movement — all symptoms that are similar to those experienced by people on other drugs like amphetamines or cocaine. Because flakka is so new, researchers are unsure of it’s effects on the brain and how addictive it is. For now, they can only guess by looking it’s chemical cousins, cocaine and amphetamines. Both of these drugs cause a surge in chemical production of the feel-good chemical dopamine (euphoric sensations) and norepineprhine (raises heart rate and makes us more alert).

Like cocaine and meth, flakka drug users will experience what is known as the “comedown.” This “comedown” occurs when the drug starts to leaves the body, leaving a flakka drug user feeling fatigued or depressed. More often than not, this leads a user back to the drug to alleviate the feeling caused from that same drug. Those users are more prone to jump-starting a cycle of use that can lead to abuse. Like cocaine and meth, the drug may alter brain chemistry in a way that makes users require a larger and larger dose to get the same high.

Excessive use has been linked with feelings of extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Like with bath salts, people have also reported dozens of episodes of violent behavior in people on flakka. At high doses, flakka may also cause the body to reach high temperatures, similar to bath salt side-effects. High body temperatures are very dangerous and may lead to severe, physical complications like muscle breakdown or kidney damage.

What are the effects and signs of flakka drug use and bath salts?

NOTE: A person under the influence of the flakka drug might act and/or feel effects similar to “bath salts” or cocaine. This can result in high potential of violent behavior and other negative psycho-social consequences when taken. These actions and behaviors are more common when flakka is consumed in high doses. Flakka drug use can also lead to unintentional injury and various forms of trauma that may be severe.

  • Hyperactivity and restlessness
  • Heightened sense alertness
  • Aberrant and ‘bizarre’ behavior
  • Extreme agitation and irritability
  • Delirium or intense confusion
  • Psychotic symptoms, delusions, and hallucinations

What are the short-term and long-term effects of using the flakka drug and bath salts?


Flakka drug use results in a flood of dopamine in the brain like other stimulants. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates the brain’s pleasure centers. Flakka hinders the uptake of this neurotransmitter by the brain cells. This produces an intense feeling of euphoria.

  • Euphoric sensations
  • Rapid heart rate and palpitations
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Heightened alertness and paranoia
  • Aggressive behaviors and extreme paranoia

The unknown effects of the drug, flakka, have many alarmed about its use and popularity, as no one knows what exactly the drug can do to the body and brain in the long term. The immediate and long-term effects of flakka can rival some of the strongest crystal meth and cocaine.


Long-term effects are have not been published. Flakka is one of the more recent synthetic drugs and research into its effects is not extensive. Research conducted shows the flakka drug is toxic to the kidneys and causes renal failure in some cases.

Unknown effects of flakka have many alarmed due to it’s popularity. No one knows what the long-term side effects the flakka drug can have on the body or brain. The immediate flakka side effects rival some of the strongest crystal meth and cocaine.

Excessive use has been linked with feelings of extreme anxiety, paranoia, and hallucinations. Like with bath salts, people have also reported dozens of episodes of violent behavior in people on flakka. At high doses, flakka may also cause the body to reach high temperatures, similar to bath salt side-effects. High body temperatures are very dangerous and may lead to severe, physical complications like muscle breakdown or kidney damage.

Can you recover from flakka addiction?

Anyone will experience recovery from a flakka addiction when they receive the correct treatment. An individual needs to seek medical attention for flakka drug addiction. A combination of clinical help, psychiatric care, or individual counseling combined with a thorough 12-step program results in long-term abstinence from the using the flakka drug and bath salts. Many mental issues arise when the drug of choice is no longer being used. Our clients know that drugs and alcohol are not the problem, they are the solution to a much bigger problem! Read more about this problem of self and more importantly, the solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Going to rehab can seem daunting for many people, especially when the realization of your addiction unveils itself. Although this can seem like a complicated process, we’ve put together a few common questions and answers to help ease your mind and prepare you for the road ahead.

Rehabilitation is not just a place where you fight your addiction. At Serenity Springs Recovery Center, our men’s rehab center is designed to help you fight your addiction once and for all while healing your body, mind, and spirit.

Fighting your addiction alone can be isolating and more challenging. However, along the journey, we help provide you with services that will help you rebuild your body, mind, and spirit for ultimate success. When you have a strong support system such as the one that we offer in our men’s residential facility, you are better able to lead a sober lifestyle.

Many people often ask, “how can I prepare for rehabilitation?” Knowing what to expect when you enter into our programs can better help you begin your journey to recovery on the right foot. Although it can be overwhelming to enter a new chapter in your life, ultimately, it is for the best, and we are here to support you through it.

Before entering into our treatment programs, our admission coordinators will give you an over-the-phone evaluation. During this call, you’ll be able to get answers to any questions or concerns that you may have. You will also be given a detailed outline of your individualized treatment plan, which is created based on your evaluation. This process helps to make you aware of what will be taking place throughout the program. It’s also a great time to ask any unanswered questions regarding our policies and overall recovery process.

The main concern for many people when entering into our men’s rehab center is how long the program is. It can create more anxiety when you are faced with the reality that you will be away from family, friends, work, and other responsibilities for an extended period. Our residential gender-specific men’s in-patient program is designed to help you fully immerse yourself in the recovery journey. This program can last anywhere from 30-90 days.

While the average alcohol rehab program can take anywhere from a month to a year – or even longer in some cases – it’s crucial to know what factors determine the length of your stay. A phone evaluation will help our staff members gain more information about the severity of your addiction. This will help us create an individualized treatment plan and course of action that will best suit your needs throughout the program.

Fighting your addiction involves more than a therapy session and discussing past trauma. At Serenity Springs Recovery Center, we believe in treating our guests as a whole to help heal the mind, body, and spirit for optimal recovery. This holistic approach to treatment utilizes many different techniques to help you throughout the journey to healing and life beyond our programs. Some of our daily services include:

  • Psychiatric care
  • Yoga
  • Relapse prevention
  • Family services
  • One on one therapy

There are a plethora of rehabilitation centers across the United States. Each one offers a variety of programs for different needs. However, numerous underlying issues within the addiction rehabilitation industry have been causing all kinds of problems for guests and their families, including poor quality treatment and high relapse rates.

At Serenity Springs Recovery Center, our approach to treating your addiction involves healing all aspects of your mind, body, and spirit. We offer industry-leading addiction and clinical interventions, including psychiatric care, health and wellness services, and many more tailored options to your recovery process.

We pride ourselves on being able to create individualized treatment plans specific to your needs and goals. Our high staff-to-client ratio allows us to provide an individualized, compassionate focus to ensure that all our guests are getting what they need at all times.