Definition of Bath Salts

Bath Salts is the street name for designer drugs containing substituted cathinones. The chemical compound of bath salts include cathinone, typically methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone or mephedrone. Some poducts labeled bath salts even contain derivatives of pyrovalerone or pipradrol. Bath salts is within a group of drugs known as legal highs or designer drugs that have been developed to avoid being controlled by laws against illegal drugs.

The Popularity of Bath Salts

The effects of bath salts are similar to amphetamine and cocaine. The white crystal appearance of the drug bath salts is similar to bathing products like epsom salts. Bath salts are labeled not for human consumption, however it has become a popular recreational drug in the United States. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the number of calls to poison centers concerning “bath salts” rose from 304 in 2010 to 6,138 in 2011 and more than 1,000 calls had been made by June in 2012.

Uses for Bath Salts

Bath salts are synthetic drugs that have been designed to avoid the illegal status of similar drugs such as cocaine and amphetamines. The drug is used for recreational purposes and is often swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected, with swallowing and snorting are the most common routes of administration. Today bath salts are one of the most commonly used drug among nightclub goers after cannabis, MDMA and cocaine. Those using bath salts for recreational use do so for the energetic high it produces however they are putting themselves at high risk for adverse health effects.

Health Effects of Bath Salts

  • headache
  • heart palpitations
  • nausea
  • cold fingers
  • Hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • panic attacks
  • violent behavior
  • heart attack
  • kidney failure
  • liver failure
  • suicide
  • increased tolerance for pain

Bath Salt Addiction

While there is little know about bath salts there is still a risk of users developing tolerance, dependency and withdrawal syndrome similar to that of amphetamine. Signs of an addiction to bath salts begins with a tolerance, requiring more and more of the substance to acheive the desired effects. An addiction to bath salts often controls the user, their time is spent getting high on the drug or planning out their next high. It is not uncommon for those abusing bath salts to suffer legal consequences to their action, bath salts can cause individuals to become extremely violent and make poor choices. A severe addiction to bath salts often results in withdrawal syndrome. The user will having strong cravings and withdrawal symptoms that range in severity including; headaches, nausea, shaking, the sweats and more that vary with the individual. An addiction to bath salts can be life threatening and in most cases requires medical treatment to get clean in a safe manor.

Bath Salt Addiction Treatment

A bath salt addiction typically requires inpatient treatment to ensure the safety of the patient. Bath salts cause the individual to become energetic, violent and experience psychosis, making treatment extremely important to get the patient safely threw the withdrawal period during detoxification. The patient will be prescribed a benzodiazepines medication to aid them in the detoxification process. They will be given doses of benzodiazepines to lessen symptoms of withdrawal, this medication will be gradually reduced to prevent relapse. Therapy and counseling will aid in the physiological recovery. Many who abuse bath salts have been found to suffer mental illness, the therapy and counseling process will help them to heal and receive treatment for them mental illness. They will also be taught the key tools needed to maintain their sobriety when back into the “real world”. Self help groups such as NA (Narcotics Anonymous) will offer support when returning home and aid the patient throughout the remainder of their recovery.