A new drug is making headlines in Florida as the ‘Devil’s Drug’ known as Flakka drug. Flakka was imported from China to South Florida. The drug is a cathinone, which is chemically related to bath salts, that goes by the pharmaceutical name of Alpha PVP. The epidemic began in Broward County and it’s threatening to spread across the country fast due to its profitability and affordability. The drug is considered the worst drug epidemic in Florida since the 80s. Flakka is described as being worst than crack. It is compared to be like a hybrid between crack and heroin. The drug is highly addictive, cheap and terrifying, according to experts. Why do parents have to be aware of this new drug in the market? Well, for starters, the drug costs $5 and it produces a high that lasts for days. Due to this low cost it makes it accessible to teens. Flakka can be smoked, snorted or swallowed. One $5 dose gives user an initial state of euphoria followed by extreme paranoia and off the charts vital signs. It is also reported that this drug will make its user a paranoid zombie with superhuman strengths. Paramedics and police officers are fully aware of the dangers of a person under the influence of Flakka due to erratic behaviors. It will take about 4 people to defuse a person under the influence of this drug. Since the drug is extremely addictive, substance abuse centers are experiencing problems treating Flakka users. The probability of relapsing are high since the drug seem to give the body an obsession to this drug. Flakka survivors have reported to continue to suffer from paranoia long after detoxing their body. Here are some ways parents can help prevent teen drug use.

  1. Explore your teen views. Do not be afraid to ask your teen their perspective on drugs and their views on why teens use drugs.
  2. Talk about consequences of drug abuse and reasons not to use drugs. Explain to your teens the side effects of drug use and the risks of drug addiction.
  3. Monitor media messages. Many television shows, music and social media market drug use as an attractive behavior. There are many ways to monitor what your teens are seeing and hearing.
  4. Talk about how to resist peer pressure. Always remember peer pressure and social acceptation continue to be major issues during teen years. Be open to listen to your teens and teach them how to resist these pressures.

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Author: Mayeling Angelastro, MA is an Orlando Winter Park Bilingual (Espanol) Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern providing help to couples, families, couples, children and teenagers with offices in Winter Park and East Orlando.  Call May for a Complimentary 15 Minute Phone Call (407) 248-0030!