What are Bath Salts?
Synthetic cathinones, better known as bath salts, are a man-made drug that produce a very strong yet very dangerous stimulant effect. Cathinones are classified as a stimulant, which is derived from the khat plant. Khat is a shrub which is grown in Southeastern Arabia and East Africa. Native people would sometimes chew the shrub’s leaves for a mild stimulant effect.
Balts Salts were first synthesized in France in the late 1920s, originally being researched for medicinal purposes and uses. Most of the research done on bath salts failed due to the drug’s harsh side-effects, such as violence, aggression and dependence.
These mind-altering substances have been around for some time but after growing in popularity in the early 2000s, bath salts have returned to the market in an altered chemical form. Synthetic cathinones are a cheap, legal substitute for cocaine or meth; sometimes bath salts can be found in products that are sold as Molly.
Similar to synthetic marijuana or Spice, bath salts can be legally sold, giving off the perception that they are safe and non-addictive. They come in small plastic or foil packages with the label “not for human consumption.” Bath salts can be easily purchased via the internet, paraphernalia shops (head shops), convenience stores and truck stops. Bath salts can be snorted, smoked, swallowed, or injected. Although the availability and convenience of these drugs has increased the use among younger adults and teens, the most prevalent bath salt customer comes from low-income rural communities. Usually, they are unable to afford the more expensive stimulant substitute, such as cocaine.
The companies that produce bath salts would like the public to believe that this drug is safe, because of where and how it is sold. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Bath salts are anything but safe, and have a wide array of harmful side effects. Not only are bath salts hazardous to the user, but also to the user’s family, friends, co-workers and the general public. Many times, the effects of bath salts can cause someone to be extremely aggressive and violent, putting everyone around them in jeopardy.
Bath salts are highly addictive, similar to cocaine and heroin. Abruptly stopping the use of the drug, can and usually does send the user into withdrawal. Seeking medical attention is absolutely imperative when this occurs, due to some of the more severe withdrawal symptoms. Because the chemical make-up of the drug is never exactly the same as the last batch, it is difficult to determine exactly how each person will react to the drug or the withdrawal of it.
Although the drug is named bath salts, it should not be confused with Epsom salts which people use in baths. Unlike cosmetic bath salts, the toxic bath salts in which we are speaking of, are produced only for recreational drug use and have absolutely no legitimate use for bathing. Epsom salt has no toxic, mind-altering ingredients.
Signs of Bath Salt Addiction
- Insomnia – The individual stays up for days or even weeks at a time
- Loss of appetite – Uninterested in eating; unable to keep for down
- Jittery behavior – Person appears anxious, jumpy or paranoid
- Bizarre behavior – May be the result of hallucinations
- Violent and/or aggressive – Sudden outbursts of anger, usually resulting in aggressive tendency, even physical violence.
Common Street Names For Bath Salts
- White Lightening
- Ivory Wave
The Effects of Bath Salts on the Body
Since the bath salt epidemic is still fairly new, it’s still unknown what this drug does to your brain. The effects are much like taking cocaine or Molly creating a sense of euphoria for the user. Reports say that users also feel an enhanced sense of sociability and sex drive, as well as feeling extremely energized.
Side Effects Of Bath Salts
- Can exacerbate pre-existing mental health diagnoses, such as depression & anxiety
- Can cause anxiety & depression
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Brain swelling
- Breakdown of skeletal muscle
- Kidney failure
- Heart attack
- Suicidal/Homicidal thoughts and/or actions
- Extremely aggressive and violent behavior
- Anxiety & Depression
- Lack in focus/Unable to concentrate
- Violent behavior
- Intense cravings & obsessions
Clearbrook Bath Salts Addiction Treatment Program
For more than 40 years, the drug and alcohol rehab Clearbrook Treatment Centers has helped hundreds with their drug and/or alcohol addictions. We offer a customized addiction treatment program for anyone who is suffering from a bath salts addiction which includes detoxification, an inpatient program, family education, 12-step meetings and fellowship and aftercare.
When you first arrive at Clearbrook Treatment Centers, you will be greeted by our Admissions Specialists and then evaluated by our medical team. A thorough history is needed in order for us to ensure a safe and comfortable detox process. After receiving medically supervised detoxification at our state-of-the-art detox unit, our staff will create a personalized addiction treatment program which will include one-on-one counseling, group therapy, relapse prevention education and integration of the 12-step philosophy. In a safe and serene environment away from the temptations of daily life, you will gain the tools that you need to regain a healthy lifestyle.
During the course of your stay, your primary counselor will work closely with you, your family and our Aftercare Coordinator to devise a specifically designed continued care plan that is suited for your needs. The decision to commit to an aftercare plan is not only a huge step, but also crucial in order to lay the necessary foundation for lasting sobriety.
If you or a loved one is addicted to bath salts, do not wait another day. Help is available. Contact Clearbrook Treatment Centers and enter our bath salts addiction treatment program today. We are currently accepting patients; most insurance providers accepted!