Author: Gary Jackson

Bath Salts Abuse and Addiction: Signs and Treatment

But a host of other dangerous chemicals can be used to make synthetic cathinones. Medical monitoring is often necessary, and doctors and nurses are usually present to give attention to a patient as new needs and withdrawal symptoms arise. Sedatives and anti-anxiety medications may be used to help alleviate emotional and physical bath salts withdrawal symptoms. Fortunately, the number of people taking bath salts is declining because reports of the dangers of synthetic cathinones are very disturbing. In 2011, for example, there were 6,000 calls to the poison control line about bath salts exposure; in 2015, that number was just 500. Users usually snort the drug up the nose, but it can also been injected, smoked, swallowed or used rectally.

  • NIDA reports that the most common ingredient in bath salts is a synthetic substance known as 3, 4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV).
  • Risks from using them include liver failure, mental illness, and even death.
  • Addiction causes a user to lose self-control and potentially to lose touch with reality.
  • This article will cover what bath salts are, their effects, their addictive potential, and available treatment options if you or someone you love is struggling with an addiction to bath salts.

Cathinone comes from a plant called khat, found in East Africa and southern Arabia. You can chew the leaves of the khat plant to get a mild stimulant effect. The human-made version of cathinone in bath salts is stronger and more dangerous. The clinical picture of bath salts withdrawal can be virtually indistinguishable from that of other stimulants, such as methamphetamine and cocaine.

Effects of Bath Salts Use: Short-Term, Long-Term, Side Effects, and Treatment

Additionally, like cocaine, bath salts are frequently crystalline in appearance and can be purchased on the street. Take our free, 5-minute substance abuse self-assessment below if you think you or someone you love might be struggling with substance abuse. The evaluation consists of 11 yes or no questions that are intended to be used as an informational tool to assess the severity and probability of a substance use disorder. The test is free, confidential, and no personal information is needed to receive the result. The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced emergency scheduling in 2011 to control MDPV, mephedrone and methylone, all chemicals found in bath salts. Bath salts in the current context do not refer to personal hygiene or bathing products found in local drugstores.

  • While many people wonder why a person would take a drug that is infamous for the damage it causes, these drugs are cheap and often legal.
  • Presence of Keys with Powder Residue- The most common route of administration for bath salts is nasal insufflation.
  • Finally, during recovery, recovering addicts may enter a supportive facility, such as a sober living house or return home.
  • This variation presents one significant danger of bath salts, since a user can never be sure of what combination of chemicals, nor what drug dose is being ingested.
  • According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, behavioral treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy and motivational enhancement therapy have shown effectiveness in treating bath salt addiction.
  • Also, a number of potentially fatal side effects, like cardiovascular effects, seizures and brain swelling, can develop with bath salts usage.

Animal studies using rodents have found that the animals will self-administer synthetic cathinones similarly to how rodents compulsively self-administer cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin. If you or a someone you love exhibits any, or a combination, of the aforementioned signs of bath salt use, it’s important to seek help. Contact The Recovery Village today and speak with one of our representatives to learn how you can begin a path to recovery for yourself or for loved one. If you feel sick or like something is wrong, get immediate medical help. Call 911 if you have any loss of muscle control, chest pain, or difficulty breathing, or if you or someone you know overdoses.

Are bath salts addictive?

This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 4 Feb 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 4 Feb 2024), ASHP (updated 12 Feb 2024) and others. Bath salts affect the central nervous system, resulting in massive increases of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. This accounts for their psychoactive effects as well as a number of potential dangerous effects that can occur as a result of taking them. Bath salts may be found for sale under a number of names, including flakka, white lightning, vanilla sky, zoom, white dove, and a host of others. These substances are typically manufactured overseas in countries like China and India, and there is very little supervision that goes into their production.

long term bath salt effects

Bath salts are known as such because of their resemblance to legitimate bath salts, like epsom salt, that are used for actual bathing. Chemically, drugs that are considered bath salts are related to cathinone, a naturally occurring stimulant that is found in the leave of the East African Khat plant. The cathinone in bath salts is synthetic though, and more potent than the naturally occurring cathonine.

Effects of Bath Salts

They were often purchased in local stores until the DEA formally listed them as controlled substances. Despite their current designation, they can still be found online. Individuals experiencing psychotic episodes can quickly become violent. Immediately call 911 if someone behaves violently or has breathing problems or seizures after using bath salts. In a 2011 study published in the journal Addiction, 44.3 percent of 947 mephedrone users believed the drug was at least as addictive as cocaine.

long term bath salt effects

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MDPV is at least 10 times more powerful than cocaine. The high potency of bath salts can lead to a number of distressing
effects on the body and mind. You can get intense withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking them, which make it hard not to use again.

Bath salts first appeared in Europe in 2007, and it didn’t take long before they reached the United States. The number of calls to United States poison control centers that were related to  bath salts went from zero in 2009 to 302 in 2010. People experience withdrawal when they reduce or stop using a drug after continued use. Bath salts can produce withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleeping problems and tremors. Bath salts are human-made stimulants that are chemically similar to methamphetamine and MDMA. These drugs contain one or more chemicals related to cathinone, a natural stimulant found in the khat plant.

long term bath salt effects

The development of a bath salts use disorder as a result of misusing the substance represents a significant long-term issue. A substance use disorder is a serious mental health disorder that requires long-term and intensive treatment. Many individuals find that they encounter a number of ups and downs in their recovery process. It’s important that these individuals seek treatment and remain actively involved in their treatment for a sufficient length of time. In addition, individuals who have suffered physical damage to their central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord — or other important body systems may require lifelong medical treatment. The long-term effects of bath salts include many serious side effects that can result in serious injury or death.