Synthetic cathinones, commonly called “bath salts,” are man-made stimulants created to mimic the effects of cocaine and other stimulants. The non-synthetic cathinones are found in the khat plant, and according to DrugAbuse.gov, the man-made stimulant can be much stronger and more dangerous. Bath salts are categorized as a “new psychoactive substance” or NPS because of its high potential for abuse and no known medical use.
According to DrugAbuse.gov, 0.9% of eighth graders, 0.5% of tenth graders, and 0.6% of twelfth graders have used bath salts in 2017. In addition, there have been thousands of reports of emergency room visits due to the health effects of consumption and even deaths from bath salts overdoses.
If you or a loved one are suffering from a bath salts addiction or synthetic cathinones addiction, there is hope for recovery. The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers provide treatment and support for bath salts addiction to help patients overcome their addiction and find purpose in life. Read on to learn more about bath salts addiction and the treatment options available at The Phoenix.
What is a bath salt? Drug names may vary, but bath salts are synthetic cathinones based on the naturally occurring cathinone found in the leaves of the khat plant. Khat is a shrub found in East Africa and Southern Arabia, and for many years, people have chewed the leaves for a mild-stimulant effect, according to DrugAbuse.gov. Though the khat leaves seem to produce only mild-stimulant effects, the synthetic cathinones or bath salts are very dangerous and have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Synthetic cathinones are usually a white or brown crystalline powder, which makes it appear like salt. The drug is most commonly referred to as “bath salts” because of its physical resemblance to Epsom salts, but the chemical make-up of these products used for bathing have no relation to the drug.
The majority of people ingest the drug by swallowing or snorting the powder. According to CampusDrugPrevention.gov, others will smoke the powder or add the powder to a solution and inject it. The powder can also be added into a gel capsule and taken as a pill. Snorting or injecting the drug is reported to be the most harmful, according to TeenDrugAbuse.gov.
“Bath salts” is technically a street name for synthetic cathinones, but there are many other street names for the drug. A few other street names include the following:
To avoid detection for producing illegal drugs, manufacturers will label bath salts several different names that do not describe the actual contents of the package. According to DrugAbuse.gov, the packages usually read bath salts, plant food, jewelry cleaner, or phone screen cleaner and are marked as not fit for human consumption.
Bath salts drugs are man-made stimulants, so there can be variation in make-up of the drug, but the bath salts drug will usually contain MDPV or mephedrone. According to TeensDrugAbuse.gov, the drug began to gain popularity in 2011, and President Barack Obama outlawed mephedrone and MDPV to combat the high abuse of the substances in drugs such as bath salts. The bath salts containing MDPV are illegal, but the substance is still used regularly.
Because the MDPV and mephedrone found in bath salts are illegal, some manufacturers have been altering the chemical construction to attempt to avoid legal ramifications. Many manufacturers have developed new types of bath salts that evade the law, but these types of other bath salts are still harmful and addictive.
The main effects of bath salts are:
The more harmful bath salts effects are seizures, prolonged panic attacks, stroke or heart attack, muscle tissue in the bloodstream, and death. These serious health effects can be symptoms of a bath salts overdose. If you believe someone is suffering from an overdose, call 911 or the toll-free poison hotline at 1-800-222-1222.
There is a need for more research on the long-term effects of bath salts. According to DrugAbuse.gov, the balt salts ingredient MDPV has been shown to have similar effects to cocaine, only ten times stronger, so it is believed that the long-term effects are similar to those of other stimulants such as cocaine.
Bath salts raise the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine and induce a sense of pleasure. According to TeenDrugAbuse.gov, people who have used bath salts once have reported a strong urge to use the drug again. Bath salts drug abuse causes a neural flood of pleasure that causes many to continue to seek out the drug and become dependent on it, resulting in addiction.
When someone addicted to bath salts stops using for a period of detox, they may experience withdrawal. Symptoms of withdrawal include depression, anxiety, tremors, increased paranoia, and sleeping trouble.
The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers offer therapy, rehab, and treatment for those who struggle with bath salts or synthetic cathinone abuse and bath salts addiction. Our services and treatments for bath salts addiction include a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) Day Program, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and General Outpatient Program (GOP). If Residential Treatment is necessary as part of bath salts drug treatment or rehab, the cases will be coordinated with a partnering residential treatment facility.
The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers are driven by this guiding mission statement: “Empowering individuals and families suffering from addiction and mental health disorders to celebrate life through lasting solutions.”
The Phoenix Recovery and Counseling Centers carefully tailors the bath salts addiction treatment program and bases it in research. We make every effort to support the treatment outcomes that prepare patients and their families to manage addiction or other mental health disorders and reclaim a meaningful life. Our purpose is to equip those we help to overcome synthetic cathinone abuse with knowledge and applied behaviors that they need to continue on to success, even after they’ve completed our treatment program.