Bath Salts Abuse: Effects, Addiction & Treatment

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how do people use bath salts as drugs

While it’s hard to exactly know the long-term effects of this dangerous drug, it is known that users are at high risk for developing substance use disorder. Bath salts come in powder form and are usually light in color; white, off-white, or slightly yellow in color. Mephedrone and methylene, two khat-derived bath salts, are very similar in drug overdose death rates national institute on drug abuse nida action to amphetamines. These designer drugs, desired for their stimulant effects, may also produce hallucinogenic and euphoric ‘highs’. Bath salts are taken orally (mixed with food or a beverage), snorted, inhaled, or injected. Snorting and injecting are the most harmful and dangerous ways to consume these dangerous, psychoactive drugs.

Is There Treatment for Addiction to Bath Salts?

Bath salts are sometimes referred to as “zombie” or “cannibal” because it was speculated that a person who engaged in cannibalism as part of an assault might have been intoxicated on the substance. Bath salts is the most widely used designer drug’s street name given to this dangerous drug made with synthetic cathinone. Cathinone is a stimulant occurring naturally in the khat understanding alcohol withdrawal stomach pain lantana recovery plant typically found in parts of Africa. Other names, including brand names, for bath salts include White Lightning, Cloud Nine, Red Dove, Cotton Cloud, Bloom, Vanilla Sky, Lunar Wave, White Snow, Ivory Wave, and Scarface. They’re sold online and in head shops, convenience stores, gas stations, under categories such as jewelry cleaner, phone-screen cleaner, or plant food.

Types of Drugs & Their Effects

how do people use bath salts as drugs

A 35-year-old UK woman who thought it could help her lose weight—and who had no knowledge of its dangers—took the drug over a period of months. She lost weight but also turned into a “paranoid, aggressive, agoraphobic insomniac,” according to her family. She finally went into a coma, suffered irreversible brain damage and was then taken off life support. There have been serious and even fatal results from using bath salts. If you are in need of rehab-related support, contact a treatment provider today. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts while using bath salts, call or text 988 (the national suicide hotline).

how do people use bath salts as drugs

Side Effects of Bath Salts

Not meant for tub use, “bath salts” originally referred to powder mixtures that, when injected, snorted, swallowed or even smoked, produced similar effects to ecstasy or meth. The original drugs probably contained a hodgepodge of ingredients, from a sprinkling of synthetic marijuana (which is actually a lot more dangerous than real pot) to asthma medicine. However, the primary ingredients were synthetic compounds called cathinones derived from the khat plant (Catha edulis), which is known for its mild stimulant effects. It’s important to note that suicidal feelings brought on by bath salts can last for several days after the person has taken the drug. Additionally, users of bath salts have reported cravings much like that experienced by methamphetamine users.

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This meant that a lot of people could get their hands on it, including those who were underage for alcohol and tobacco. If you’ve ever accidentally got a fizzy drink up your nose (we would mention one of the leading brands of cola products, but that could be confusing,) you’ll performance-enhancing drugs: know the risks know how painful it is. And in one of the most tragic incidents involving bath salts, a young mother and father died after a high-speed chase in Washington. After they crashed, the father shot his wife and then himself and their young child was later found dead in the home.

how do people use bath salts as drugs

Cathinones are stimulants found in the khat plant, grown in East Africa and southern Arabia.These mind-altering drugs are strong central nervous system stimulants that inhibit the dopamine-norepinephrine reuptake system (neurotransmitters in the brain). These include mephedrone (a popular and problematic drug in the UK), pyrovalerone and methylenedioxyprovalerone (MPDV). While these are three of the most common chemicals sold as bath salts, there are dozens of others that may be used. This makes treatment in the case of overdose or adverse effects very difficult.

how do people use bath salts as drugs

What are the effects of bath salts?

It can induce severe psychosis, mainly due to severe sleep deprivation. In one case in Miami, which was widely reported, a man ended up eating the face off a homeless man, and this attack was blamed on bath salts. While the DEA banned khat in 1993 by banning cathinone, it didn’t ban all chemicals based on this drug. Chemists started experimenting to see what they could do with the base compound, bolting on different atoms and groups.

  1. Bath salts (synthetic cathinones) look and feel a lot like Epsom salts.
  2. Certain synthetic cathinones are used in medications to treat specific conditions.
  3. Promoted as providing a “legal high” that can escape detection in drug tests, bath salts are intended to mimic the hallucinogenic and euphoric highs of methamphetamine or cocaine.
  4. Like other manufactured drugs, bath salts may contain additional unknown substances.
  5. It can be difficult for a person to stop misusing certain substances, such as alcohol or illegal drugs.
  6. Research shows that one common synthetic cathinone, called 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), is 10 times stronger than cocaine.

The active ingredient in bath salts is invariably a cathinone, which are relatively simple to make (chemically speaking, anyway.) Structurally, it’s similar to amphetamine. However, it remained relatively unknown until the beginning of this century. Chemists had discovered this class of compounds in 1910, and given the habits of chemists at the time, they probably consumed a little of it.

The chemical composition of bath salts can vary widely, producing a range of drug affects—both short and long-term—from using bath salts. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reports that MDPV, a common synthetic cathinone found in bath salts, is ten times more powerful than cocaine, is very similar to Ecstasy in how it makes the user feel. Some of the most commonly found synthetic cathinone in bath salts are 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and methylone. In 2012, President Obama deemed the active ingredients in bath salts as Schedule 1 drugs.

If ingested orally, absorption is rapid with a peak “rush” at 1.5 hours, the effect lasting 3 to 4 hours, then a hard “crash”. The total experience may last upwards of 8 hours or longer.1 Snorting and injecting the drug can be especially hazardous.

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