Bath Salt Addiction
Bath salts are popular cosmetic designer add-ons. The name comes from cases where the drugs were disguised as bath salts with names like lavender rock, night limerade, or bathtub salt. The crystals, white powder, or tiny granules often look similar to Epsom salts, though differ chemically. Bath salts are generally used to treat skin ailments such as dryness, itching, dandruff, acne, boils, and herpes.
Not surprisingly, using bath salts in a doctor’s office is on the rise, even as consumers increasingly shun products that are “too clean.” Unfortunately, some of these bath salts contain high levels of salicylate, a chemical that can cause serious side effects, including headaches, vomiting, and heart rate elevations. A recent study revealed that salicylate, a chemical found in aspirin and other over the counter pain medications, may be responsible for increasing the risk of hypertension and heart attack. Because most people who develop these side effects also have high blood pressure, doctors advise people with such problems to avoid aspirin and other over the counter pain medications.
In recent years, there has been an increase in the reported cases of bath salts abuse. Most cases involve younger children, as many children take baths regularly while in the tub. As a result, doctors are finding more cases involving teenagers and young adults. In these cases, the drugs are usually not detectable. The problem is especially prevalent in those who use the drug often and/or in combination with alcohol or other drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, etc.
There are two major types of bath salts addiction: synthetic cathinones and ephedrine. Synthetic cathinones include ephedrine, which are now available in pill form, and ephedrine. While there is limited scientific data on the physiological effects of ephedrine, many users have noted that it produces a warm, fuzzy feeling in the stomach and can produce anxiety and mood swings. It is thought that these feelings are caused by a “kickback” effect from the effects of the “burn” the drug produces.
Mephedrone is also often confused with speed. Like bath salts, ephedrine produces a stimulant like effect in the body. Users can experience feelings of euphoria, paranoia, irritability, and depression. Long term side effects of use, however, can include anxiety and panic attacks, seizures, hallucinations, heart palpitations, difficulty breathing, memory loss, stiff muscles, insomnia, and death. Some users, especially children, can also experience long-term side effects like anxiety and depression, along with appetite suppression.
Because bath salts addiction may require detox, it is recommended that the individual begin counseling as soon as possible. During counseling, the patient will learn to identify triggers that signal the onset of a bath salt overdose. Detox is typically performed in a residential treatment facility, but relapse can occur if the patient returns to their addiction after being in a treatment facility.
In most cases of bath salts abuse, the user is unaware that he or she is self-medicating themselves with highly addictive substances. This makes recovering from addiction more challenging because once a person becomes aware of their addiction, it is difficult to prevent relapse. Bath salts stimulate the brain chemicals associated with euphoria and can be extremely addictive. When a person becomes dependent on these drugs, they develop a physical dependence on the chemicals and can no longer live a “normal” life without them.
Treatment for this condition may involve detoxifying the body by means of heavy-duty doses of medications and hospital admission. Rehabilitation centers offer programs and services that address the symptoms of this condition and help individuals reclaim their lives. Common characteristics of this condition include intense cravings, loss of energy, extreme euphoria, intense behavioral changes, and severe depression. The drugs used in bath salts abuse are also highly addictive and addicting. Many of the symptoms of addiction resemble other drug addictions such as alcoholism or substance abuse. Bath salts may lead to an obsessive compulsive behavior pattern and a progressive loss of control.