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photo of the synthetic drug Flakka with a needle and spoon

Flakka, also known as Gravel, is a highly addictive synthetic drug that causes grave consequences for its users and their associates. Reports of Flakka addiction initially were confined mostly to Florida, Texas, and Ohio, but eventually began spreading through most of the country. Flakka is a synthetic cathinone, which is a natural substance found in khat, a plant that is native to Northeast Africa. Synthetic cathinones act mainly as stimulants, but also have hallucinogenic properties. A-PVP is the cathinone that is found in Flakka. Because it is produced and sold in whitish chunks, the street name Gravel was developed.

Those who use the drug can snort, swallow, smoke or inject it. It is also not uncommon to be smoked by using an e-cigarette (vaping). Flakka’s effects mimic those of cocaine and amphetamines. Not only does it produce stimulant effects, such as appetite suppression, alertness, euphoria, and sexual acting-out, but can cause disturbing and dangerous side-effects as well. It has been reported that Flakka users can develop superhuman strength, violent behavior and participate in suicidal and homicidal activities. Flakka has also been reported to provoke its users to commit atrocious and evil crimes.


Since Flakka is highly addictive, for those who wish to escape the horrors of its use should strongly consider entering a drug treatment program. Many drug rehabs are now equipped to deal with persons who are addicted to synthetic drugs. Because there is no typical withdrawal syndrome for those who stop using Flakka, it is unlikely that an abuser will be admitted to an inpatient or residential drug detox. However, in certain cases, an admission to an inpatient or residential drug detox may be recommended because of acute intoxication from Flakka, or in the circumstance of the user being paranoid, violent or one who is experiencing hallucinations and delusions.

A Flakka addict is likely to be admitted directly to an inpatient or residential drug rehab as an initial stabilization and addiction treatment level of care. Once stabilized and engaged in treatment, a transition to a lower level of care, such as drug treatment with residential housing may be recommended.

Because of the high probability of the Flakka abuser suffering from mental health side-effects, or of having a frank psychiatric disorder, being treated in a dual diagnosis capable facility is important. In drug treatment, the Flakka addict will learn how to live a life free of stimulant abuse, coping skills, and the thought process and behaviors that led them to addiction. If any other substances are being abused, or if there are medical problems, these should be addressed concurrently with the Flakka addiction.

Entering recovery from drugs is not an effortless process, but the benefits are extraordinary. Not only can one develop new and healthy relationships, but old relationships can be mended. Employment is a strong reality and avoiding jail time and time in other institutions, such as jails, prisons, hospitals and psychiatric institutions becomes more probable.

Behavioral Wellness and Recovery is here to assist you in locating drug treatment services that will suit your needs, and to answer any questions you have about insurance, drug rehab, or Flakka addiction.


Behavioral Wellness & Recovery is a Joint Commission accredited program. The Joint Commission recognizes excellence in health care organizations and programs.


Behavioral Wellness & Recovery is a Joint Commission accredited program. The Joint Commission recognizes excellence in health care organizations and programs.

Your decision to regain your life helps and heals your entire family. Do it for them. Do it for you.


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