Bath salts is a street name for a drug called synthetic Cathinones and is a family of drugs that are made up of one or more synthetic chemical related to the amphetamine like stimulant found in the Khat plant called Cathinone. There is a growing problem with the large number of reports of extreme intoxication and the health effects related to the use and abuse of the drug.
Effects of Bath Salts
The effects of bath salts range from a feelings of euphoria, desire to be overly social and increased sex drive. In some individuals the experience can include extreme paranoia, hallucinations, delirium, agitation, psychotic behavior and increased violence. In extreme cases there have been reports of death due to the abuse of the bath salts. Bath salts can be taken by mouth, snorted or injected. Bath salts are comparable to cocaine only at least 10 times stronger.
There has been increasing concern about the popularity and abuse of bath salts leading President Obama to sign legislation in July of 2012 banning two of the types synthetic cathinones, mephedrone and MDPV, making them permanently illegal as a result of the legislation. The law also makes it illegal to create chemically similar types of drugs, meaning that if anyone begins to manufacture something that is chemically-similar to the mechanisms behind bath salts, they will be breaking the law. This means that manufacturers are prohibited to making medication that does the same thing as cathinone in order to replace the drug.
Symptoms of Bath Salts Abuse
There are some symptoms related to the use of bath salts that have been known to send users to make a trip to the emergency room. These include cardiac symptoms such as high blood pressure, chest pains and increased heart rate as well as paranoia, some hallucinations and intense panic attacks.
There are signs that can indicate bath salts abuse in those that have found themselves victim to these drugs. Individuals that have been abusing bath salts might have increased blood pressure, show signs of chest pain, seem to be agitated, have an increased heart rate, kidney pain, muscle tension, have an increased body temperature or even chills, seem to be hallucinating, suffer with nausea, seem to be confused, have a change in appetite or sleep habits, express suicidal thoughts, seem paranoid or suffer from delusions.
Dangers of Bath Salts Use
Due to the paranoia and hallucinations that are often caused by the use of bath salts, individuals using the drug can be found doing things they would never do. They have an impaired sense of judgment and could endanger themselves or others during this state. In addition to these dangers there is the very real danger of tissue damage for those that repeat injections in particular sites. The tissue can eventually die off and cause the need for amputations.
For some people the intensity of the paranoia and delusions can cause them to have severe brain damage. Some cases have been reported of individuals eventually going into a coma after suffering severe brain damage from the continued steady use of bath salts. Although this is an extreme case, what it does illustrate is that there is a danger inherent in using such drugs on a consistent or long term basis.
The Bottom Line – Bath salts are an example of what happens when people perceive a drug to be safe. Any drug or chemical substance, even those intended for health purposes such as prescription medications, can be severely harmful when you use them improperly. Cathinones are simply no exception to this rule. This is a type of substance or drug that people begin using because they feel like there are no serious side effects or long term implications, when actually the opposite is true.
Any type of substance abuse is dangerous, even when the substance does not appear to be entirely dangerous on its own. As such, anyone who is struggling with a substance abuse problem is going to need to get help sooner rather than later in order to avoid this brush with serious complications and to start moving along the road to recovery. A bath salts addiction or substance abuse problem is a serious issue that is only going to become worse with time. The best way to stop this cycle from continuing in a bad direction is to look for a substance abuse treatment facility that offers bath salts abuse treatment options that you can take advantage of.