How Dangerous Are Bath Salts (and Their Side Effects)?
Sometimes a product that seems harmless isn’t. For instance, this is the case with bath salts. Traditional bath salts get put into the bathwater, but unfortunately, people often misuse and abuse the product. Each year thousands of people go to the hospital because they swallow, inhale, or inject bath salts. Side effects are hazardous but as improbable as it sounds, people are turning to bath salts as a way to replace the high they get from using marijuana or other dangerous drugs.
Some salts that people use during bathing (such as Epsom salt) do not have any addictive chemicals, but others do. The synthetic chemicals in these bath salts are toxic. Emergency rooms increase with patients who use bath salts to get high across the country.
Bath salt side effects can prove deadly in some cases. If you think you may have an addiction to bath salts, please contact us today at 623-263-7371 to learn about treatment that can help you overcome addiction. Your health and life may be at stake.
Read on to learn more about bath salts, and the dangers that come with it. If you click a link below you can learn more about that topic. Contact our experts today if you require additional assistance.
The Chemical Makeup of Bath Salts
Chemically speaking, there isn’t a specific legal definition of what a bath salt is supposed to be. Also, most cosmetic bath salts wouldn’t have any addictive chemicals in them. However, many of the bath salts on the market today contain synthetic cathinone. These are human-made stimulants related to cathinone, a substance found in the khat plant. A stimulant is a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in the body.
But the stimulants in bath salts are not found in nature. People create them in a laboratory. The chemicals in bath salts are similar to amphetamines as well as MDMA (or Ecstasy). Two chemicals often sold as bath salts (mephedrone and methylone) raise serotonin in a way similar to Ecstasy.
The Effects of Bath Salts
In addition, the effects of bath salts on the brain are very similar to those of harmful drugs typically found on the street. Research shows that the most common chemical found in bath salts is methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). This chemical works like cocaine by increasing dopamine and norepinephrine chemicals in the brain. This increase causes a feeling of euphoria and hyperactivity. But MDPV is ten times more potent than cocaine.
As such, the long-term effects of bath salts are likely to be extremely hazardous. To make matters worse, estimates suggest there may be more than 100 different chemicals like bath salts. That makes it nearly impossible to measure all of the effects of bath salts on the brain or the body. It also makes it very difficult to know what impact the mixing of all these chemicals will have on the mind and body.
In short, plugging chemicals into your system can prove costly to your overall health. If you need help overcoming an addiction to bath salts or any substance, then call us today. Our experts are standing by ready to help you start your journey to a happier and healthier life.
Risking Your Health
Synthetic cathinones are part of a group of drugs that are new psychoactive substances (NPS). These substances are of great concern to public health officials. They are mind-altering substances with no legitimate medical use. They copy the effects of substances, and people use them strictly for getting high. People can buy them online and in stores under various brand names, including Bliss, Cloud Nine, Lunar Wave, Vanilla, Sky, and White Lightning.
Bath salts’ effects on the body and brain are numerous and frightening.
For instance, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the chemicals in bath salts can cause:
- Increased blood pressure
- Kidney failure
- Muscle spasms and damage
- Loss of bowel control
- Severe paranoia
- Panic attacks
Psychotic symptoms are common in bath salts users occurring in up to 40% of reported cases in emergency departments. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, users under the influence of these synthetic drugs are also prone to violent and unpredictable behavior.
Consequently, it’s essential to understand the wide range of adverse effects a misused drug can have on the body. Even a single “experiment” with the drug can go wrong, not to mention the lasting damage of long-term abuse.
A Deadly Fallout
There are numerous reports about bath salts effects on the body and how dangerous they can be.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows several cases of people who used bath salts and visited Michigan emergency departments from November 2010 to March 2011. One of these patients was dead on arrival. Of the remaining patients, 50% were hospitalized. The patients’ main symptoms included agitation, tachycardia, delusions, hallucinations, seizures, and tremors. The additives in bath salts also increase sociability and sex drive, which can have their adverse effects. The damage done by bath salts on the brain is a cause for alarm.
The physical side effects of bath salts can be as hazardous as those of illegal drugs. It’s little wonder that a law was enacted that forbids producing, selling, or possessing 28 of the various substances in bath salts.
In addition, the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act bans MDPV, mephedrone, and other bath salts ingredients. The bath salts’ side effects were too dangerous to ignore. Unfortunately, the makers of bath salts were able to produce different chemicals for their products to get around the law. Many states have also passed their laws banning certain chemicals used in bath salts.
Also, there are no bath salts that are safer to use than others, and really, no point in trying to figure it out. You’re merely playing with fire at that point.
While bath salts’ long-term effects may be unclear, it’s evident that the chemicals in bath salts are addictive and can cause immediate harm. If you are suffering from an addiction, then call us today. Our specialists will help you find the best treatment option for you and your needs.
Beware of Addiction
Because they are relatively easy to obtain, bath salts’ potential dangers are within reach for almost anyone.
The synthetic ingredients in bath salts can be addictive. Studies with animals have shown that even rats will compulsively self-administer this drug.
Synthetic cathinones can also cause strong withdrawal symptoms such as depression, anxiety, tremors, and paranoia. Those symptoms are very similar to those of patients who are addicted to dangerous street drugs.
Also, while the number of bath-salt addicts is relatively small compared to more well-known drugs, the fact that bath salt addiction is a realistic possibility is cause for alarm. It serves as a warning to parents to be alert to the potential dangers for their children. Addiction to bath salts may be easier to hide than other addictions since it wouldn’t necessarily involve illegal activities. Additionally, bath salts can be purchased online and delivered right to your doorstep, only adding to the ease of access.
Treatment is Available
If you are addicted to the ingredients in bath salts, there are methods of treatment available. Behavioral therapy is most often used, including cognitive therapy and providing rewards to patients who can keep away from the bath salts.
However, while there are no specific medicines that have been FDA-approved for synthetic cathinone addiction, there are medications available for other conditions that come with this addiction.
If you or someone you love has a problem with bath salts, then we urge you to contact us to learn about treatment near you. Substance abuse programs have proven extremely effective for anyone who wants to turn away from an addiction. They are staffed by qualified personnel with extensive experience in dealing with addicts and overcoming their struggles. You’ll have access to medical resources as well as the one-on-one work that can help an addict regain control of their lives.
The Pathway to Getting Sober
There are many ways to become addicted and suddenly find yourself in need of help. Addiction can arise quickly, and in some situations, a person may be unaware that they have an addiction to a substance. In the case of bath salts, a person may not quite understand the damage they’re doing to their own body.
A good addiction treatment program aims to identify the best way to address your situation. In each case, professionals will assess the level of drug use and the severity of a person’s addiction. They will also factor in your history of substance abuse, physical ailments, and mental health status.
Help for addiction comes in different forms and may include individual therapy and group interaction with people with the same issues as you. Treatment can also include medication assistance and methods of cleansing your body, like a detox program. You’ll also get tools to help you combat drug abuse when you leave the facility.
To summarize, each person is different, and each addiction must have an evaluation individually. Regardless, when counselors and medical workers offer their help, they work on the same basic principles. They will seek to educate and inform you to understand what causes addiction and how to fight it. They will also teach behavioral tools to help you regulate emotions and your actions once you’re back facing the inevitable challenges of a sober lifestyle.
However, it’s clear that bath salts’ side effects are dangerous and could even be deadly. If you have questions about the hazards of bath salts, or how to ween yourself off them, please reach out to us. You can regain control of your life, starting today.
Written by Steve Witucki
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