Bath Salts Addiction
Bath Salts use can be deadly or cause severe mental health symptoms. Please lookout for these symptoms marking the effects of bath salts use. If you need expert assistance with addiction to bath salts, please contact Holly Conklin, certified interventionist professional with Angel Intervention at 1-800-430-2995
The National Institute on drug abuse terms the word “bath salts” as an emerging family of drugs containing one or more components found in synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine like stimulant found naturally in the that plant. The synthetic products, marketed as “bath salts” to evade detection by the authorities are not to be confused with products like Epsom salts often used to enhance the experience of bathing. The latter have no psychoactive (drug-like) properties.
Bath salts come in the form of a brown or white crystalline powder and are sold in plastic or foil packages marked “not for human consumption.” Sometimes also marketed as “plant food,” or more recently as “jewelry cleaner” or “phone screen cleaner”. They are all sold online or in drug paraphernalia stores using many different brand names such as “Ivory Wave,” “Cloud Nine,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightening,” and “Scarface.”
Common synthetic cathinone found in bath salts include 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone(MDPV), mephedrone (“Drone” or “Meow Meow”), and methylone, but there are many others. Much is still to be discovered regarding how these synthetic drugs affect the brain chemistry, and it is likely each compound may have unique properties. Chemically, the compounds are similar to amphetamines (such as Meth) as well as to MDMA (Ecstacy) but produce a much more dangerous effect.
Users have reported that use of the drug triggers intense cravings (a compulsive urge to use the drug again) and the drug has proven to be highly addictive. Frequent consumption may induce tolerance, dependence and strong withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. The energizing and often agitating effects often experienced in those using can be similar to the feelings you get from abusing methamphetamine or cocaine. These drugs raise the level of the neurotransmitter dopamine in brain circuits regulating reward and movement. A surge of dopamine causes euphoria and increased activity. A similar surge of norepinephrine raises heart rate and blood pressure. Marketed at a lower cost ( and until recently, legal alternatives for those substances) bath salts use was more accessible to a large number of addicts. A recent study found that MDPV (the most common synthetic cathinone found in the blood and urine of patients admitted to hospitals after bath salts ingestion) raises brain dopamine in the same manner as cocaine but is at least ten times more potent.
The hallucinatory effects often reported in users of bath salts are consistent with other harmful drugs such as LSD or MDMA that raise levels of another neurotransmitter, serotonin. A recent analysis of effects in rats of mephedrone and methylone showed that these drugs raised levels of serotonin similar to the drug MDMA. These bath salts have also been known to be sold as MDMA to an unsuspecting user.
Health Consequences of Bath Salts Addiction
-Cardiac symptoms include chest pains and racing heart or high blood pressure
-Psychiatric symptoms including paranoia, hallucinations and panic attacks
-“Excited Delirium” syndrome
-Breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue