Drug Abuse In Hollywood, Florida
Hollywood, Florida nestled in Broward County is heavily affected by the opioid crisis plaguing America. In fact, Broward County ranks as one of the most affected places in Florida. In particular, heroin and non-prescription fentanyl are commonly among Hollywood residents. Carfentanil, a much more lethal opioid, was said to have killed 40 people in 2016 in Broward County. Heroin overdoses are common because people suffering with opioid abuse disorders often combine heroin with other drugs. When an addictive opioid is combined with other drugs, the rate of overdose increases greatly.
Prescription drug abuse is also very common, with Oxycodone abuse rising in Broward County in recent years. Abuse of benzodiazepines, typically prescribed for anxiety, has also increased in recent years. 87% of adolescents under 18 years Broward County used marijuana. That percentage is still rising as marijuana has become the most common substance used among Broward County high schoolers.
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What Is Flakka?
Flakka is a substance available in crystal form that has similar effects of the khat plant from the Middle East. Furthermore, this designer drug is highly addictive, similarly to that of meth and cocaine. Flakka, however, creates more dangerous side effects. This drug’s main component responsible for its stimulating effects is the ingredient alpla-Pyrrolidinopentiophenone, also called a-PVP or alpha-PVP. The chemical is classified as synthetic form of cathinone, which is in the bath salt family.
The drug goes comes in powder and tablet form. Flakka became widespread due to its highly addictive nature, and it causes hallucinations and paranoia in users. Many compare the psychoactive side effects of flakka to bath salts, causing some users biting the flesh of people around them. Users often lace marijuana or cigarettes with flakka, and likewise have resorted to mixing flakka crystals with gummy candy. Flakka can be snorted, eaten, smoked, and vaporized.
Flakka Use in Hollywood
Broward County cities like Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale are experiencing a flakka outbreak, and nearby cities like Miami are also affected. Broward County accounted for 20% of all nationwide flakka cases. South Florida reported high amounts of flakka use in 2015 and prior years, many news headlines dubbed it as the “South Florida flakka epidemic.” In 2015, 60 people in Broward County overdosed on flakka in 14 months. Much of the supply of flakka comes from China, making its way to U.S. streets for as little as $5 for 1 bag.
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The Effects of Flakka
Flakka made news headlines with users were taped running down the streets, feeling as if they were chased; some harmed themselves while escaping “being chased.” Others have conducted acts of cannibalism because of hallucinations, a side effect of the drug. Users who abuse flakka often mimic a zombie-like appearance. Aside the psychological effects of flakka, people using flakka can also experience:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Kidney failure
- Excited delirium
- Organ damage
- Suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide)
The side effects of flakka can be short-term or long-term, lasting for months. Additionally, flakka causes the temperature in the body to rise to 104 degrees, which creates more health-related risks.
Finding a Way Out
A recent ban of the drug flakka has contributed to a decrease in its prevalence; however, it is still commonly abused in the Hollywood area. Finding treatment for flakka and other drugs like opioids affecting Hollywood is the key to setting you or a loved one free from addiction. Treatment providers will guide future patients to the best facility for their needs. Patients will access peer groups for connection and experience detox the safe and effective way. Contact a provider today, and change your life.