You have probably heard of the “bath salts” drug, but what is it, really? And what makes it so dangerous? Let’s take a look at the basics of the designer drug known as bath salts.
What we know as the “bath salts” drug is scientifically known as synthetic cathinones. People in East Africa and South Arabia have used naturally occurring cathinones in the khat plant as a mild stimulant. However, synthetic cathinones are much stronger and come with much higher risks of addiction and drug abuse. The cathinones found in bath salts are 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone (drone or meow meow), and methylone, to name a few.
That covers the basics, but there is a lot more to learn about bath salts. Keep reading if you want to learn more about bath salts, drug addiction, and drug rehabilitation in Florida.
Why “Bath Salts”?
As you know, the bath salts drug has very little in common with typical bathing products. But because dealers sell synthetic cathinones as white or brown crystals, they bear a certain resemblance to Epsom salts. But according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, you’ll be able to tell bath salt drugs from actual bath salts by the packaging alone.
Dealers sell bath salts in small foil packages, typically labeled “not safe for human consumption.” Additionally, they may be labeled as “plant food” or “jewelry cleaner” to hide their intended purpose. In this way, drug dealers can hide their activities from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Because they are chemically similar to methamphetamine and MDMA (also known as ecstasy or molly), bath salts are often sold as a cheaper alternative. In fact, they’re so similar that the methylone, a cathinone in bath salts, has been sold instead as MDMA in ecstasy tabs. This highlights the dangers of bath salt drug abuse, because you have no way of knowing exactly what you’re taking.
The process of taking drugs off the street becomes even more confusing when you consider drug slang terms. The various bath salt drugs have several different names, including:
- White lightning
- Purple wave
- Ivory wave
These are just a few of the names, since verbiage changes depending on where you go and who you buy from. But no matter what you call it, this drug poses a real danger to people throughout Florida.
Now you know a lot about the selling and naming of bath salts, but what does this drug actually do?
Effects and Dangers of Synthetic Cathinones
The effects of bath salts make them both highly desirable and very dangerous. While they cause pleasant feelings like euphoria and excitement, those feelings can quickly turn negative. Common effects of bath salt drug abuse include:
- Intense feelings of friendliness
- Elevated sex drive
- Panic attacks (which can cause chest pain, like in a heart attack)
- Agitation and violent tendencies
Of course, these are just the things that bath salt drugs are supposed to do. They have even more varied effects when you consider the numerous side effects of bath salts, which can be impossible to plan for. Side effects of bath salts include:
- Elevated heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Kidney failure
- Death (from cases of snorting or injecting bath salts)
The violent tendencies that bath salts bring about can increase the dangers of this drug. For example, using bath salts could cause you to put yourself in dangerous situations that you would normally avoid. If you were injured in one of these situations, it could reasonably be said that bath salts were (at least partially) to blame.
Unfortunately, the negative side effects of bath salts can continue even after you stop taking it. Bath salt withdrawal symptoms can range from unpleasant to deeply disorienting, and these issues sometimes lead people to relapse. Bath salt withdrawals may cause:
Along with these symptoms, individuals detoxing from bath salts often report intense cravings for the drug. This can make it even harder to quit, especially for people who don’t have access to addiction treatment centers.
Treating Bath Salt Drug Addiction
If you or someone you love needs help recovering from a bath salt drug addiction, the good news is that you have plenty of options at The Blackberry Center. With a variety of evidence-based treatment options, we address both mental health and drug addiction issues.
In fact, our dual diagnosis program simultaneously treats bath salt addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders. While many people may not realize it, untreated mental illness is a common cause of addiction. If you feel depressed or anxious, you’re more likely to self medicate with drugs like bath salts. And the more you use these drugs, the worse your quality of life becomes, which makes you even more reliant on drugs. You might feel powerless to escape this cycle, but you need to know that help is out there.
By employing proven mental health therapies and quality addiction recovery strategies, our team of physicians, nurses, mental health experts, and other care staff will help you regain control of your life. Addiction to bath salts affects countless people in the United States each year, but there is always a way out.
Do you have questions about how can help you or your loved one overcome bath salt drug addiction? Call our admissions specialists at 1-407-449-8404 or fill out a confidential contact form. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and get you started on the path to recovery.