Drug And Alcohol Addiction In Hollywood, Florida
Hollywood, Florida, nestled in Broward County, is being heavily affected by the Opioid crisis plaguing America. In particular, Heroin and non-prescription Fentanyl are harming many Hollywood residents. Additionally, Carfentanil, a much more lethal Opioid, was said to have killed 40 people in 2016 in Broward County. Prescription drug abuse is also very common in the area, with Oxycodone abuse rising in Broward County in recent years. Other substances commonly abused in the area include Benzodiazepines, typically prescribed for anxiety, and Marijuana, commonly abused among Broward County high schoolers, and Flakka, a synthetic drug typically made from a manufactured version of an Amphetamine-like Stimulant.
While these increasing rates of substance abuse among residents can be concerning, there are over 25 drug and alcohol rehabs throughout the state to help individuals recover. Treatment options include inpatient and outpatient programs, methadone medication-assisted treatment for Opioid dependence, and detoxification services.
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Flakka Use In Hollywood
Broward County cities like Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale are experiencing a Flakka outbreak. Broward County accounted for 20% of all nationwide Flakka cases. South Florida reported high amounts of Flakka use in 2015 and prior years, and 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. A recent ban of the drug has contributed to a decrease in its prevalence; however, it is still commonly abused in the Hollywood area.
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.
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 the drug can also experience:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attacks
- Kidney failure
- Excited delirium
- Organ damage
- Suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide)
Finding A Way Out
Finding treatment is the key to setting you or a loved one free from substance abuse. Treatment providers can discuss all available treatment options. Patients will access peer groups for connection and experience detox the safe and effective way. Contact a treatment provider today, and change your life.
Krystina Murray has received a B.A. in English at Georgia State University, has over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience, and over 15 years of overall writing experience. She enjoys traveling, fitness, crafting, and spreading awareness of addiction recovery to help people transform their lives.
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- Connor, Tracy. McFadden, Cynthia. Nadi, Aliza. (2015). Devil’s Drug: Flakka Is Driving Florida Insane. Retrieved on October 12, 2018 at https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/devils-drug-flakka-driving-florida-insane-n471531
- United Way of Broward County Commission on Substance Abuse. (2016). Drug Abuse Trends In Broward County, Florida Annual Report: June 2016. Retrieved on October 12, 2018 at https://www.overdosepreventionstrategies.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2016-Broward-Substance-Abuse-Trends-Report.pdf
- Medina, Vanessa. (2016). Over 50 Dead After Ingesting New South Florida Drug. Retrieved on October 12, 2018 at https://wsvn.com/news/local/over-50-dead-after-ingesting-new-south-florida-drug/
- Adams, David. Fagenson, Zachary. Cheap, Synthetic ‘Flakka’ Dethroning Cocaine On Florida Drug Scene. Retrieved on October 12, 2018 at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-florida-flakka/cheap-synthetic-flakka-dethroning-cocaine-on-florida-drug-scene-idUSKBN0OQ1PE20150610
- Alanez, Tonya. (2016). The Rise And Fall On Flakka In Broward County. Retrieved on October 12, 2018 at https://www.theledger.com/article/LK/20160313/News/608079281/LL/
- Just Think Twice. (2017). Drug Alert: Flakka (Alpha-PVP). Retrieved on October 12, 2018 at https://www.justthinktwice.gov/drug-alert-flakka-alpha-pvp
- Hughes, Calvin. (2018). Pilot Program At Hollywood Hospital Battles Opioid Crisis. Retrieved on October 12, 2018 at https://www.local10.com/health/pilot-program-at-hollywood-hospital-battles-opioid-crisis