Flakka: Dangers of the “Zombie Drug”

These alterations then lead to enormous physical mutations that forever change the person infected. The Last of Us is a video game-turned-HBO show in which a widespread zombie apocalypse is started by cordyceps. In the story, cordyceps is a parasitic fungus that takes over your body and causes you to infect others through fungal spores or mycelia (tendrils). But people with substance use disorders claimed that this new drug has killed “any kind of joy” that came with getting high. A non-opioid, xylazine is not safe for humans as its overdose does not allow one to respond to naloxone, or Narcan-the most common overdose reversal treatment. Rick Bradley, operations manager at the drug treatment charity, Addaction, is based in Kent which, prior to the ban, had more headshops than anywhere else in the country.

  1. According to the DEA, it was the highest increase of Xylazine-positive fatal overdoses in the country during that timespan.
  2. A new synthetic drug, Flakka, also known as gravel and zombie drug is a new generation of “bath salts”.
  3. In every town centre, spice users can be found begging for the small amount of loose change they need to buy their next fix.
  4. It is called the ‘zombie drug’ because it can affect the muscular system, such that it makes people move in jerky, uncontrollable ways—just like zombies.

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And in Philadelphia, for example, xylazine was found in more than 90 percent of illicit drug samples tested in 2021, O’Neil and Kovach said. While that’s scientifically impossible (at least for now) one study is pushing the boundaries between life and death. Zombie fans familiar with 28 Days Later will remember an iconic scene in which one person gets infected by a single drop of blood that falls into their eye — and that’s all it takes to infect them within seconds. “This has happened over time for millions of years, and there are viruses that infect and integrate into our human genome,” says Dr. Misra.

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By 2021, more than a third of all overdose deaths in the city had xylazine detected in their toxicology tests, according to Jennifer Shinefield a field epidemiologist with the city. Overuse of the drug can lead to rotting skin ulcerations and ultimately limb amputations if untreated, hence its horrifying nickname “zombie drug”. The drug has also been detected in a growing number of overdose deaths. Flakka originally became popular as a new synthetic drug in South Florida with people looking for a cheap high. Flakka is the latest in a selection of synthetic drugs used in the United States. The illegal substance can sell on the streets for as little as five dollars a hit.

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They mimic the stimulant effects similar to those resulting from illegal drugs. These include cocaine, methamphetamine (crystal meth), and MDMA (molly or ecstasy). Regular marijuana contains the cannabinoid THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which can attach to receptors in the brain to activate the release of chemical messengers that can make people feel paranoid or anxious, he explained. But the marijuana plant also produces another compound known as cannabidiol, or CBD, which stops the brain from continuing to release these chemical messengers, he said. Authorities believe Harrouff was high on flakka, a highly addictive designer drug that causes paranoia and psychosis.

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Treasury Department sanctioned Bo Peng, one of China’s biggest flakka traffickers. Many street dealers sell cocaine or crystal meth laced with flakka. But mixing flakka with other drugs can exacerbate its effects and lead to overdose or death. Flakka is sometimes referred to as the “zombie drug.” Individuals high on alpha-PVP may experience an altered mental state that induces psychosis. The synthetic substance can also produce unusual physical strength. In some situations, multiple policeofficers may be needed to subdue someone intoxicated on flakka.

Users of increasingly popular street drugs called K2 or spice, which are made from mixtures of herbs laced with synthetic cannabinoids and other chemicals, are showing some incredibly strange behaviors. Designed to mimic the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in natural marijuana, the artificial substance has far more powerful effects. It was first seen in the United States in 2008, “What K2 does is puts you in a world, a delusional world, have your mind spinning,” said a man who went only by Andrew in an interview with CBS News. “It’s mind-altering.” Synthetic pot is a mixture of dried herbs and even lawn clippings sprayed with chemicals, ground up, and either eaten or smoked. Long available in gas stations, corner stores, and head shops, this unregulated, unpredictable chemical substance is marketed as a legal high.

“Tranq is basically zombifying people’s bodies,” Sam, aged 28, told Sky News. “Until nine months ago, I never had wounds. Now, there are holes in my legs and feet.” Motivational incentives offer rewards to patients who remain substance-free. BetterHelp can connect you to an addiction and mental health counselor. alcohol use disorder and timeline of alcohol withdrawal symptoms O’Neil and Kovach said they had worked with several people who had successful healing of their wounds, including those with large, deep wounds requiring extensive surgeries. “In our experience, a small wound can heal with cessation of injection, cleaning of the wound and supportive wound care,” the doctors said.

These drugs could alter the effects of flakka, including how long the drug lasts. But users don’t keep coming back for more flakka because of its zombie-like effects. The drug can also flood the brain with dopamine, which results in intense feelings of euphoria. It also triggers a reward response in users’ brains, making them come back for more. Flakka is a street name for the designer drug known as, a-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone that is known to cause paranoia and psychosis. Flakka is a synthetic drug of the cathinone variety, closely related to another synthetic cathinone known as ‘bath salts’.

As Wrexham’s problems attracted national attention, complaints were made about the number of spice users congregating outside the town’s drop-in centres. Then, three weeks ago, amid the furore, one was forced to temporarily close its doors, leaving the users with nowhere to go. A few months ago, pictures of spice users slumped gabapentin oral route description and brand names unconscious in the town’s bus station went viral on social media. Cari Nierenberg has been writing about health and wellness topics for online news outlets and print publications for more than two decades. Her work has been published by Live Science, The Washington Post, WebMD, Scientific American, among others.

Sometimes mixed with fentanyl, xylazine – often referred to as Tranq – has spread across the US at an alarming speed and has devastated communities there. In May, the first death linked to the drug was announced in the UK. The British Columbia Interior Health authority is warning street-drug users of a synthetic cannabinoid that has been linked attention required! cloudflare to a so-called “zombie” outbreak in New York. It’s difficult to overstate how incompatible the drug is with human consumption. One of the reasons researchers and government agencies don’t know more about xylazine’s health impact on people, in fact, is that clinical trials were long ago abandoned because the side effects were so dangerous.

Though he stayed away from the drug during his days as a user, Sherman knows what to look for. Xylazine itself is a central nervous system sedative that causes drowsiness, amnesia, slow breathing, decreased heart rate, and decreased blood pressure. It is thought that when used in combination with opioids like fentanyl, it can elongate the effects of the high. Behavioral therapy can treat addiction to synthetic cathinones like flakka.

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