Bath Salts: Overview, Effects and Treatments

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“Bath salts” are a type of drug that gets its name from its resemblance to Epsom salts, which are often added to bathwater to help with sore, aching muscles. But the bath salts drug is actually a central nervous system stimulant. Curious to know what a bath salt drug is used for? Let’s take a look at what happens when people take this drug.

What Is a Bath Salt Drug?

Bath salts are synthetic cathinone, specifically a kind called MDPV. MDPV is structurally similar to the hallucinogen MDMA, also known as “ecstasy” or “molly.” Bath salts reportedly have the same high-inducing effects as amphetamines and is highly addictive.

What Is a Bath Salt Drug Used For?

Bath salts are not used for any type of medical treatment. They are only snorted, smoked, injected or consumed for recreational purposes. Bath salts were not banned in the U.S. until 2012, and before that time, bath salts were relatively easy to come by in smoke shops.

What Are the Effects of Using Bath Salts?

Bath salts give users a feeling of delirium and an intense high. When taken with alcohol, this effect increases dramatically. Other side effects include:

  • Involuntary muscle tics
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Irregular heart beat
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Cold extremities, especially the fingers
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Erratic and possibly violent behavior

Bath salts may also be linked to heart failure, kidney failure and liver failure.

Is There a Treatment for Bath Salt Addiction?

Bath salts are highly addictive and tolerance increases rapidly. Mixing bath salts with other substances may also result in extremely dangerous symptoms. Bath salt users may be admitted to the hospital for severe dehydration or to simply be sedated and restrained if they are a danger to themselves or others. Addiction to bath salts can be treated in the same way as addiction to other dangerous substances. Bath salt cravings are reportedly very powerful and a specialized rehab facility is the best option for getting clean after bath salt use.


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