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Bath Salts Addiction: Some Important Facts

Bath Salts’ is a general term that is used to describe multiple recreational synthetic drugs. The name bath salts is given to these drugs because they were sold under the disguise of true bath salts. The drug comes in white power, granules and crystals that appear to be similar with actual bath salts but in reality, they are very different in both chemical composition and function. The drug has often also been disguised as plant food etc to avoid drug regulation authorities. Bath salts can be addictive and harmful just like any other drug so it is important to regulate and control their usage.

Table of Contents:

  • 1.What are bath salts?
  • 2.How bath salts are used?
  • 3.Can bath salts be addictive?
  • 4.What does taking bath salt feel like?
  • 5.Is it possible to overdose on bath salts?
  • 6.Bath Salt Addiction Facts and Statistics

What are bath salts?

Bath salts are synthetic drugs chemically related to cathione. Cathione is a chemical naturally found in Khat plant while in bath salts, synthetic cathiones are present. The leaves of Khat plant are often chewed by people because of the stimulating effects of cathione present in it. Synthetic cathiones are much stronger and can produce a significant high feeling. Bath salts are included in a group of drugs named as ‘New Proactive Substances or NPS’. These drugs are newly available in the market and are still unregulated. Bath salts are used as a cheap alternative to other psychoactive drugs such as MDMA, meth and cocaine. Synthetic cathiones are usually available in the form of white or brown crystalline powder or pallets. They are sometimes sold in small plastic bags or foil packaging with ‘not for human consumption’ written on them. They are also often disguised as phone screen cleaner, jewelry cleaner etc and can be bought online. A number of other street names and nicknames are also given to the drug such as:

  • Vanilla sky
  • Flakka
  • Scarface
  • Bloom
  • Cloud nine
  • White lightning
  • Lunar wave
  • Snow leopard
  • Meow meow
  • Sextasy
  • Zoom
  • Ocean snow
  • Pure ivory
  • Ivory wave
  • White night
  • White rush
  • Charge plus
  • White dove
  • Ocean burst
  • Start dust
  • Drone energy-1
  • Hurricane Charlie
  • Blue silk
  • Purple sky
  • Bliss
  • Purple wave
  • Red dove

How bath salts are used?

Excessive use of bath salts results into severe intoxication. They are associated with a number of dangerous physical and psychological effects. Evidence suggests that people may also become very aggressive and violent after the use of this drug. Some people may end up buying bath salts falsely sold as MDMA. There are a number of ways bath salts can be consumed in, such as:

Bath Salts Addiction: Some Important Facts
  • Smoking
  • Swallowing
  • Snorting the powdered form
  • Injecting the diluted form

Snorting or injecting the drug may prove to be the most harmful methods since greater chance of overdosing the drug is associated with them.

Can bath salts be addictive?

Synthetic cathiones can be highly addictive compounds. The users have reported becoming dependent on the drug. Severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms kick in when an attempt is made to quit the drug. Some of the withdrawal symptoms associated with the drug include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Involuntary tremors
  • Problem falling asleep
  • Cravings

What does taking bath salt feel like?

Bath salts have been known to cause extremely high feeling and people getting out of control after their usage. The effects produced by bath salts may include agitation, hallucinations, extreme chest pain, paranoia, increased pulse rate, high blood pressure and in some cases, even suicidal tendencies.

Suicidal tendencies may persist even after the high produced by the drug has gone away. There have even been some cases of suicide committed by synthetic cathione users.

Is it possible to overdose on bath salts?

It is pretty much possible to overdose on bath salts when they are taken in high amounts. Severe physical and psychological damage is associated with bath salts overdose and in rare cases, even death. Also, the addict is at a high risk of harming himself or other people around him due to the extreme psychological symptoms produced by the drug.

The death because of bath salts overdose may result due to one of the following reasons:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Dehydration
  • Seizures
  • Kidney failure
  • Self harm
  • Hyperthermia
  • Accidental injuries

The signs and symptoms of bath salt overdose may include:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Disorientation
  • Abnormal behavior
  • Stomachache
  • Kidney pain
  • Self harm
  • Hyperthermia
  • Panic attack
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusion seizures
  • Tremors
  • Shock

If a person is spotted with one or more above mentioned symptoms, immediate medical care should be provided.

Bath Salts Addiction Facts and Statistics:

Bath salts are among the drugs whose use still needs to be regulated. Here are a few facts and figures on the abuse and addiction of bath salts.

  • The term Bath salts include a number of drugs containing synthetic cathiones in their chemical makeup.
  • Even though cathione addiction is new to United States, it has been prevalent in Australia, Europe and Middle East since 2000.
  • A chemical, MDPV or 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone, found in bath salts has been known to raise the levels of dopamine in brain ten times more than cocaine.
  • As stated by American Association of Poison Control Centers, in the 2nd half of year 2011, there were around 3,400 calls related to cathione use.
  • The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) reported that in 2011, there were around 22,000 emergency room visits that involved cathione use.
  • In 2012, about 120 new types of synthetic cathiones were discovered. When a certain drug is banned, the producers come up with another similar drug.


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