While news of the fentanyl epidemic has been splashed across headlines for months now, one leading addiction and mental health treatment facility says there are a new variety of illicit drugs spreading throughout Southern California. Harmony Place, an addiction and mental health treatment program in Woodland Hills, California that offers both inpatient and outpatient services, is seeing an increase in the number of clients experimenting with dangerous substances with names like Kratom, Zaza, Dust Off and Chrome.
“We’re highly disturbed by the increase in the use of these new drugs. In addition to being highly addictive, they can be potentially fatal. Compounding the problem is the easy access that they can be obtained,” says Clinical Director of Harmony Place David Cohen. “We are witnessing a growing number of people willing to experiment with these substances without considering what the long-term costs may be and, frankly, they can be deadly. The public must be warned about them and steer clear of them before it’s too late.”
Among the new wave of illicit drugs is Kratom, an opioid-like herbal substance with serious side effects and a high risk for addiction.
“Kratom is growing in popularity, especially among those seeking to self-treat anxiety or an opioid addiction,” says Cohen. “By drinking enough of it, the heart rate and central nervous system will slow down quickly and dramatically to levels that can be deadly.
“Then there are the inhalants like Chrome, Whip-Its and Dust-Off that are easily accessible and can be found online and even at some smoke shops and gas stations. At first, users feel a sense of euphoria but, depending on the dosage, they can also experience hallucinations or delusions that can make them act in an erratic manner,” furthers Cohen. “Although the high that’s produced typically lasts just a short time, users often prolong the experience by repeatedly inhaling again and again over several hours. Persistent use can cause chronic liver, kidney and nerve problems, developmental delays, cognitive dysfunction and permanent brain damage.”
Cohen also points to an increase in the use of Zaza, which can be found over-the-counter at gas stations and the like in the U.S. but is sold as an antidepressant in many European countries. In addition to being highly addictive, its active ingredient, tianeptine, causes drowsiness, confusion and difficulty breathing and, in extreme cases, coma and death.
Harmony Place is located at 23041 Hatteras St, Woodland Hills, CA. Visit www.harmonyplace.com for more information or call (888) 416-2046.
23041 Hatteras St
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