As a premier drug and alcohol treatment facility, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center provides all who struggle with the disease of addiction the drug treatment services, programs and support needed to help addicts from all walks of life break the vicious cycle of addiction. It is also our mission to educate the public on the dangers of substances and how they have devastating impacts on those who use them, their families and the ones they love. Recently, an esteemed member of our experienced treatment staff wrote an informative and insightful article that was featured in the health section of U.S. News & World Report detailing flakka and devestating impact on South Florida..

Stuart Azoulay, clinical director at Ocean Breeze Recovery Center, authored an article concerning the dangers of the synthetic drug flakka and its impacts on users and families in southern Florida. Our treatment staff has been on the front lines in witnessing the devastating physical and social impact flakka has on our clients, their families and others. In addition to outlining the what the drug is and what attracts users to the drug,  Azoulay outlines the steady rise of flakka’s use in south Florida in hopes of educating readers worldwide of what could happen if the drug is used on a larger scale.

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Developed in the 1960’s and commonly known as a “bath salt”, flakka is a synthetic drug which is sold in a variety of forms on the street and is known as an a cheap substitute for drugs such as methamphetamine and cocaine. When people use flakka, they can experience an intense “body rush” in which they will feel an extreme amount of energy, enhanced sense of  focus and euphoria. Additionally, flakka helps suppress appetite, lowers inhibitions and can increase one’s sex drive. Depending on the method of administration, the effects of flakka can be felt within 15 to 45 minutes of exposure and can last for several hours after exposure.

While flakka users experience an intense and pleasurable high, it comes with a severe price tag. Some of the negative and potentially life threatening complications that stem from flakka use include dehydration, difficulty urinating, increased heart rate, and perspiration, time distortion, increased anxiety and depression. Users can also experience nosebleeds, increased paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks, extreme agitation and violent behavior–also commonly known as excited delirium. Additionally, flakka users can also suffer from a breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue and can endure kidney failure. Perhaps the most frightening side effects of the drug is the fact that flakka use is linked to suicide in those users who experience excited delirium as well as heart attacks and even death.

We at Ocean Breeze Recovery Center have seen firsthand the shocking effects of flakka use in south Florida.  There are local hospitals that were reporting approximately 25 to 30 new emergency room admissions daily as of last December–and those numbers are steadily on the rise. The dramatic increase of flakka use and its effects in south Florida are being compared to the crack epidemic that ravaged the area in the 1980’s.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects about the flakka epidemic is that fact that the active ingredients of the drug are sold for use in medical and scientific research, and research chemicals fall into a “grey area” in regards to U.S law. While other countries have banned flakka and its’ synthetic derivatives, the drug is widely available on the black market. Additionally, there are website where you can buy flakka for as little as just under $15 per gram.

While the flakka epidemic in south Florida does not command headline status as the nation’s ongoing heroin and prescription painkiller crisis, flakka is a drug that should be of great concern. Like many other substances, flakka is highly addictive and requires the help that can be found at a reputable drug rehab center such as Ocean Breeze Recovery Center. Our dedicated, compassionate and experienced treatment staff fully understands the unique treatment challenges for those addicted to flakka and we have created a drug treatment program that specifically targets the specific needs of those addicted to the drug.

Ocean Breeze Recovery Center offers accredited drug treatment programs that feature client-specific approaches that address each client’s particular treatment needs and goals. In addition to cognitive-based individual and group therapy, trauma-specific programs, life and coping skills training and strong relapse prevention programs, Ocean Breeze Recovery Center utilizes a strong 12-step focus that gives all clients and structure and support needed to overcome flakka abuse and other forms of substance abuse.

All forms of addiction are a serious matter. If you, a family member or a friend is in need of professional drug treatment, don’t wait another day in addressing this life-threatening issue. Pick up the phone today and call Ocean Breeze Recovery Center toll-free. The abuse of flakka and other drugs in the United States is truly a crisis situation, and Ocean Breeze Recovery Center is doing our part to treat the problem one client and their family at a time.

Check out the article here!

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