Author: Gary Jackson

Bath Salts Addiction: Signs, Risks, and Treatment

The DEA reports that users of bath salts are typically teenagers, young adults, and college students. The journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice publishes that while abuse of designer drugs has been seen in people of various ages, it is most common in males in their mid to late 20s. Individuals taking bath salts may not even be aware of what the drugs actually contain, as these products are synthesized in illicit laboratories and often “cut” with a variety of chemicals or potential toxins.

  • The effects of the drugs also vary based on the route of administration; they can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or inserted into the rectum or vagina.
  • The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced emergency scheduling in 2011 to control MDPV, mephedrone and methylone, all chemicals found in bath salts.
  • Families and friends of addicts of any drug are always encouraged to understand the need to care for their loved ones without being pulled emotionally into their addict’s use, and to understand that they are not responsible for causing the use.

This is partially what contributes to the “high” that people experience when abusing bath salts and may encourage users to want to recreate this feeling by taking these drugs again and again. The combination of anxiety, delirium, and hallucinations has led many people to cause harm to themselves or others while they were on bath salts. Initially, the person may experience pleasure or euphoria since synthetic cathinones do release dopamine; however, for most people, this experience rapidly fades, as the drug leads to intense anxiety.

Continue Learning About What are Bath salts?

It usually comes in plastic bags or foil labeled as bath salts, glass cleaner, or even plant food. 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. Rather than finding a dealer and paying thousands of dollars, a person can go to a corner store and spend less than $10. However, the ease and price cannot justify the ultimate dangers of consuming these chemicals.

  • The relatively new nature of these drugs suggests that help should be sought sooner rather than later, since the level of damage after a single use can be significant.
  • MDPV, one of the more popular synthetic cathinones found in bath salts, may be up to 10 times more powerful than the illegal stimulant drug cocaine, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) publishes.
  • In a recent study of drivers in Finland apprehended for suspicion of drug use, 80% of those with MDPV in their blood also tested positive for amphetamine, and 67% had combined benzodiazepines with bath salts.
  • Drug effects can include a short-term increase in energy and mood and acting strangely friendly to others.
  • Bath salts only have recreational purposes and have no recognized medical application.

The effects of the drugs also vary based on the route of administration; they can be swallowed, snorted, injected, or inserted into the rectum or vagina. Since bath salts are unpredictable for a lot of reasons, it is easy to take too much and overdose. When a person overdoses on bath salts, their body temperature rises to dangerous levels, often well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. They are extremely agitated, fearful, delirious, and violent, which makes them hard to get to a hospital for treatment. Blood pressure and heart rate can rise to dangerous levels, possibly leading to a heart attack, pulmonary embolism, or stroke. Data from poison control centers indicates that the rise in bath salt abuse has lead to an increase in emergency department cases.

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The slang term is now applied to types of synthetic cathinones, which are highly toxic. Some forms of bath salts are technically legal, though they are highly dangerous. Withdrawal side effects from bath salts aren’t considered life-threatening as with other drugs. However, as mentioned the exact chemical make-up of bath salts can vary and chemicals can cause unknown and unexpected reactions.

bath salts drug addiction