Bath Salts Drug Abuse: What Are Bath Salts Addiction Signs?

A pack of Bath Salts drug

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Bath salts abuse is a real problem for people of all ages, and there are indications of being able to get addicted to this substance. But what is bath salt drug, is the use of it legal and what are the symptoms of bath salts addiction? These are essential questions when it comes to bath salts addiction topic.

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Table of Contents

Bath Salt Drugs: What Are They?

Bath salts drugs are usually made in a lab and belong to the group of synthetic cathinones. They come in various shapes, but two main forms are crystals and powder. They can be illegally sold as phone screen cleaner or jewelry cleaner. The product has a “not for human consumption” label on it so it would avoid FDA and other regulations it would have to meet. It is classified as an NPS – New Psychoactive Substance, which means that it is an unregulated illicit substance with mind-altering capabilities and no medical use.

Synthetic Cathinones Street Names

When it comes to all the identities synthetic cathinones have on the street, there are many of them. In general, all synthetic cathinones made in labs and include different compounds. Because of this, this designer drug is much stronger than their origin, natural stimulant that comes from the African and Arabian khat plant. Here are some bath salts street names commonly used to refer to the same drug:

  • MDVP
  • Flakka
  • Bloom
  • Cloud nine drug
  • Euphoria
  • Vanilla sky
  • Monkey dust
  • Lunar wave
  • Recharge
  • Stardust
  • Pyrovalerone
  • White dove
  • Tranquility
  • Purple way
  • Ocean snow
  • Meow drug

Whatever these synthetic cathinones are called on the streets, there are indications that being bath salts high repeatedly over time they can cause addiction.

Are Bath Salts Drugs Addictive?

The fact that bath salts drug users have to seek professional medical treatment because of their symptoms show how serious the threat is. When it comes to different derivatives, such as bath salts vs. flakka, effects may vary from person to person, but they both can certainly cause drug-seeking behavior since users continue to abuse these drugs even though they know it is dangerous and that they are breaking the law. This behavior pattern is similar to other drugs, such as meth and cocaine.

Signs And Symptoms Of Bath Salts Abuse

Signs of bath salt drug abuse include several behavioral and physical changes in a person that can be noticeable to others.

Behavioral Signs Of Bath Salts Addiction

Besides the common bath salt effects, there are certain types of behavior that can help to detect if someone is having a bath salt addiction problem. These behavior patterns include:

  • stopping participation in family activities,
  • avoiding hanging out with friends,
  • changing life dynamics (noticeable at work or in school),
  • a shift in focus.

Some more specific signs that can be spotted in the behavior of a cloud nine drug abusers are:

  • increased libido and sex drive,
  • paranoiac behavior,
  • hallucinations,
  • anxiety and panic attacks,
  • violent behavior.

Bath salts are known to last up to eight hours with one dose and bath salt stays in system even longer, so abuse symptoms can be mainly visible in users behavior during the day. Meanwhile, signs are different for everyone and depend on the method of ingestion, the amount that is taken, and many other factors which are yet to be researched. This makes the drug even more dangerous since the behavior of users can never be predicted, and it can get out of control quickly.

Man with bath salts addiction problems

Physical Signs Of Bath Salts Abuse

There are also physical effects of bath salts addiction besides the psychological ones. Abuse may lead to some health complications and severe conditions, including:

  • numbing of muscles and tingling sensation,
  • chest pains,
  • heart attack,
  • seizures,
  • dizziness and blurred vision,
  • brainstem herniation.

All of these are severe health risks of bath salts drug abuse, and if the user does not go through detoxification step, long-term consequences may arise as well. They include kidney and liver damage, brain swelling, bath salts OD, and ultimately, death.
What is important to mention as well is that bath salts and alcohol should not be mixed. When a stimulant (drug) and a depressant (alcohol) are combined, the results are entirely unpredictable, and mixing them can have a fatal outcome as well. Cloud nine drugs are strong enough by themselves, and the belief that alcohol contributes to the experience is false.

Since the legal status of vanilla sky was not regulated until a couple of years ago, the critical question to ask is: are bath salts legal? And the answer to this question is not that simple.
According to the study about Synthetic cathinones, their legal status and patterns of abuse, the Department of Justice placed methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone, and methylone, in the Controlled Substances Act.

Notebook, gavel and American flag
By doing this, all drugs containing bath salts components are made illegal as well. So, does this mean that there are no legal synthetic cathinones? No. Even though certain compounds are banned in some states, new compounds appear very often, and the authorities cannot keep track or work fast enough. If one uses a mixture that is not banned by law, one will not break the law. Therefore, even though there are many illegal bath salts, new types which are not banned yet are constantly being made.

How Do Users Buy Synthetic Cathinones?

In 2010, lunar wave could be found almost anywhere since it was not yet banned. After several incidents caused by injecting bath salts or ingesting them in any other way, the authorities recognized the problem and tried to solve it by banning certain key cloud nine drug ingredients.
However, there are bath salts drug for sale online to this day. It can also be purchased in convenience stores and gas stations, as well as on the streets under many of its names. They are usually sold in small packs, and bath salts price is between $60 and $100.

Bying bath salts is illegal. Never try to purchase this drug as its use is connected with devastating side effects which can lead to a lethal outcome.

Treating Bath Salt Abuse

Treatment for abuse of bath salts exists, and it mainly consists of behavioral therapy, which is aimed at informing users about the consequences of addiction, motivating them to stay clean and provide support during the process. The addiction treatment should be tailored to the individual to be effective, but another good option is to join a rehabilitation program.

Currently, there is no medication for treating addiction for synthetic cathinones, so the therapy and rehabilitation are the best options.

Recovery From Synthetic Cathinones

When it comes to recovering from bath salts addiction, if it is started on time, the person can recover completely. However, the problem is not in recovering physically and being healthy again. It is rather challenging to overcome physiological consequences that addiction leads to, especially if the individual suffered from traumatic hallucinations and suffers from the poor mental state in general.

man with bath salts abuse problem sitting in rehab center
Bath salts withdrawal is an essential part of the addiction treatment and then a patient is getting a support through recovery program. Withdrawal process may be followed by insomnia, anxiety, and depression, as well as decreased concentration and ability to think and focus. The intensity of symptoms will vary depending on the length and method of use and the user’s mental state.

MDPV Is Addictive As Any Other Drug

There are many horror stories related to using MDPV. Before even considering it, one should realize that cloud nine drugs are just as dangerous as meth and cocaine. What makes them even more hazardous for the user and the people around is the unpredictability. There is no way to define how even the smallest dose will influence the user, and there may be grave consequences. Additionally, vanilla sky showed to be just as addicting as other illicit drugs.

Therefore, it is better not to experiment with this particular designer drug, to stay healthy and not to get punished by law.

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View Sources
  1. Fass JA, Fass AD, Garcia AS, Synthetic cathinones (bath salts): legal status and patterns of abuse, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22388331/
  2. Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”), https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts
  3. JOHN M. STOGNER & BRYAN LEE MILLER, Investigating the ‘bath salt’ panic: The rarity of synthetic cathinone use among students in the United States, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/dar.12055
  4. Michael H. Baumann, John S. Partilla, and Kurt R. Lehner, Psychoactive “bath salts”: not so soothing, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3537229/
  5. M. Coppolaa, R. Mondola, Synthetic cathinones: Chemistry, pharmacology and toxicology of a new class of designer drugs of abuse marketed as “bath salts” or “plant food”, http://www.antoniocasella.eu/archila/Coppola_2012.pdf
Ahmed Zayed, MD

Dr. Ahmed Zayed

Content Contributor

Dr. Ahmed Zayed is a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery. He is graduated from the University of Alexandria, Egypt. Dr. Ahmed Zayed has a passion for writing medical and health care articles and focuses on providing engaging and trustworthy information to readers.

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