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Synthetic Cathinones “Bath Salts” National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA

how do people use bath salts as drugs

Synthetic cathinones are similar to certain substances found in the khat plant. Khat is used in East Africa and southern Arabia for its stimulant properties. These compounds smell bad and have the potential to cause serious burns. Amines are not the nicest of substances (that’s why we are generally repulsed by the smell of amines—they have a strong fishy odor,) and these impurities can even induce severe allergic reactions.

Street names for bath salts

how do people use bath salts as drugs

The reason these drugs are commonly called bath salts is that they tend to be in the form of white or off-white powder or crystals. However, these substances are not at all the same as Epsom salts or the other bath salts in which people bathe. Many of the bath salt drugs include alpha-pyrrolidinopentiophenone drug-induced tremor (alpha-PVP), mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV or MDPK) and are synthetic drugs called cathinones, which exist in plants commonly called khat plants. These drugs and are chemically similar to stimulant chemicals like cocaine or amphetamines.

Caron Atlanta Outpatient Center

how do people use bath salts as drugs

Users get a sense of altered consciousness and high energy, escalating to delirium and agitation after high doses or chronic use. The drugs have been linked to some utterly bizarre behavior, from demon baby paranoia to half-naked goat killings. Some users experience hyperthermia, cardiovascular problems and even death. Emotional complications of bath salts abuse can include panic attacks and violence against oneself (suicidal thoughts or actions, or self-mutilation, as in cutting or burning oneself). Unfortunately, any of the complications described do not require long-term use of the drug in order to occur.

Drug Addiction Treatment

Despite the seemingly innocuous name, this drug can be very harmful. This designer drug’s name was derived from its similar appearance to Epsom salts used in the bath. However, despite the similar appearance, this drug has a different chemical makeup. In addition, drug makers can easily skirt the ban on MDPV and mephedrone by turning to other cathinone derivatives, of which there are many. “The game with this stuff is that the labs that make it change the ingredients, the packaging, the name, and the color to create confusion so it can’t be controlled,” says Ryan.

Is There Treatment for Addiction to Bath Salts?

Social risk factors for bath salt use, as for any type of drug use disorder, include male gender, age 18 to 44 years old, unmarried marital status, and lower socioeconomic status and high levels of community violence. According to statistics by state, people residing in the West tend to be at higher risk for chemical dependency. As with substance use disorder in general, circumstances like receiving appropriate supervision, as well as clear messages from family members that drug use is unacceptable help prevent bath salt abuse and addiction. As a new psychoactive substance, little is known about the full addictive potential of bath salts. However, studies of rats have shown that animals will self-administer synthetic cathinones, indicating a compulsion to use the drug again and again. Some people who have developed a dependency on bath salts have also reported withdrawal symptoms (such as depression, anxiety, tremors, insomnia, and paranoia) when they stopped taking the drugs.

how do people use bath salts as drugs

  1. The human-made version of cathinone in bath salts is stronger and more dangerous.
  2. In live mice, they stimulate a high degree of activity and agitation on par with MDPV.
  3. In addition, users of bath salts may be taking other drugs simultaneously.
  4. Bath salts is the most widely used designer drug’s street name given to this dangerous drug made with synthetic cathinone.

This means that bath salts are an illicit drug and cannot be prescribed or sold. They contain types of synthetic cathinones, which are banned in the U.S. The people who manufacture bath salts intentionally mislabel them in an attempt to avoid legal restrictions. Users usually snort the drug up the nose, but it can also been injected, smoked, swallowed or used rectally. Toxic doses for the newer synthetic cathinones such as bath salts have not yet been determined9, and doses can be variable due to the illegal nature of the drug.

Bath salts can be ingested orally, snorted, smoked, plugged or injected. Bath salts can be detrimental to human health and can potentially cause erratic behavior, hallucinations, and delusions.[12] This is often due to their wakefulness-promoting effect, leading to insomnia. This is very important because of the dehydration bath salts cause. Bath salts are among a group called new psychoactive substances.

The drug merely borrows the name of an innocuous product so it can be sold openly. You can also get more details about your specific insurance coverage by filling out this quick and confidential online form. The drug doesn’t contain any ingredients from bathwater products. Drug effects can include a short-term increase in energy and mood and acting strangely friendly to others. In 2020, the maximum prison sentence for a person found guilty of trafficking Schedule I substances was between 20–30 years. The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records.

Another important aspect of treating bath salts addiction is helping family members and friends of the addicted person refrain from encouraging addictive behaviors (codependency). Whether codependent loved ones provide financial support, excuses, or refrain from acknowledging the addictive behaviors of the addict, discouraging such codependency of friends and family is a key part of the recovery of the affected individual. Focusing on the bath salts-addicted person’s role in the family likely becomes even more urgent when that person is a child or teenager.

The negative short-term effects of bath salts can range from agitation to panic attacks, to hallucinations. Severe reactions may include aggression, violent behavior, adverse mental health symptoms, and psychosis. Other potentially fatal drug reactions are suicidal feelings and overdose. Overdose is the most common complication from the use of bath salts. Given the similarities in effects that these drugs have to cocaine, methamphetamines, and other stimulant drugs of abuse, bath salts should be considered very addictive.

Despite the newness of these drugs and resulting lack of sufficient research on bath salt-specific addiction in humans, animal research has already shown that these substances can be quite addicting. Therefore, health care professionals consider bath salts capable of wreaking the same addictive havoc on the lives of users as other stimulant drugs. There is no single test that indicates someone has bath salts use disorder with complete certainty. Therefore, health care professionals diagnose this condition by thoroughly gathering medical, family, and mental health information. The practitioner will also either perform a physical examination or request that the individual’s primary care doctor do so.

The emergency and referral resources listed above are available to individuals located in the United States and are not operated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA is a biomedical research organization and does not provide personalized medical advice, treatment, counseling, or legal consultation. mirtazapine oral route precautions Information provided by NIDA is not a substitute for professional medical care or legal consultation. At Oxford Treatment Center, we specialize in the treatment of co-occurring disorders and use a “whole-person” treatment approach that addresses both the addiction and the mental health condition.

If you suspect that you or someone else has overdosed on bath salts, call 911 right away. If a person is misusing bath salts or other substances, many groups and institutions can help them find support. People sometimes refer to bath salts by numerous street names, such as bliss or meow meow. If a person experiences any of these effects after taking bath salts or is with someone who does, they should seek immediate medical attention. Balt salts can lead to serious, and even fatal adverse reactions.

In some 45 locations, Narconon enables people to achieve drug-free lives. Serious physical damage is also possible, as in the case of the New Orleans woman who lost her arm, shoulder, breast and other tissue after an injection of bath salts into her forearm set up a chain bruises: symptoms causes diagnosis treatment remedies prevention reaction of tissue death. Because it’s impossible to know what’s in each batch of these drugs without sending them to a laboratory for testing, the risk of overdose and even death can be high. There are no approved medications that treat addiction to synthetic cathinones.

A separate study presented at this week’s meeting found that MDPV’s lingering impact messes with the brain’s connectivity networks, based on brain scans of mice dosed with the drug. If some parts of the brain can’t talk to other regions, that could account for some of the weirder stories linked to bath salt use. However, the hungry gentleman in question did not have any evidence of bath salts in his system, so the cannibal instinct was likely driven by something else, such as an adverse reaction to another drug or a psychological issue.

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