Chemical Highs: The Dangers of Synthetic Drugs
Running Time: 17 Minutes
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This program offers a sobering view of what happens when young people experiment with synthetic drugs like Flakka, K2, Molly, and bath salts. Substance abuse counselors, medical doctors, and former addicts all explain the dangers of synthetic drugs. Viewers learn that these synthetic drugs impact the brain, induce horrifying hallucinations and paranoia, and ultimately lead to addiction and even death. The video program and accompanying Teacher's Resource Book deliver a powerful and clear "no use" message.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
This short but powerful program reveals the dangers of synthetic drugs. Three recovering addicts, an emergency-room doctor, a recovery-center director, and a substance-abuse expert discuss the devastating, highly addictive synthetic drug known as Flakka. With expert commentary and disturbing personal stories from three recovering addicts, the film delivers a strong message about addiction. Animated graphics amplify the narrative, illustrating how Flakka affects the brain; several horrific video clips show behavior of those under the influence of Flakka, which is cheap and easy to make. The drug is often designed to look like sugar candy, making it particularly appealing to young people. Recommended as a discussion starter about overcoming peer pressure, avoiding risky behavior, and abstaining from drugs. Includes a teachers’ resource book, student handouts, and tests in digital format.
— Carol Holzberg
This short but hard-hitting film describes the nature and effects of the synthetic drug called Flakka, which has been called "$5 insanity" for good reason. Drugs made in labs to mimic illegal street drugs—marijuana, heroin, and meth—pose extreme danger to users. As described by experts, synthetics are made up of unknown chemical compounds, including pesticides and other poisons. The experiences of three former users/addicts are interspersed with narratives by a recovery specialist/drug counselor and an emergency room doctor. Flakka was the drug involved in the sensationalized news story about a zombielike man who bit off another man's face, and a special adviser for substance abuse research explains that this story surprisingly increased use of the drug. Experts explain Flakka's effects on the body and mind of the user, including hallucinations, paranoia, and activation of the flight or fight response, which greatly increases adrenaline and body temperature, which in turn burns muscle and the outer cortex of the brain. Former users describe lasting effects—stammering, feelings of fogginess, problems with memory and reading, and paranoia. A young woman shares a photo of when she was addicted; her wasted appearance is shocking. Footage of a convulsive woman high on Flakka also provides a sobering picture. VERDICT This high-quality video delivers the frightening truths as told by professionals and former users who deal with the results of taking this unpredictable synthetic drug. For middle and high school health classes.
—Constance Dickerson, Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, OH
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