Bath Salts, Excessive Sedation, and Violent Behavior
Bath salts are a category of designer therapeutic drugs. The term derives from cases where the medicines were disguised as bath salt. Sometimes the crystals, powders, or white powder actually resemble Epsom salts, yet are different chemically. Bath salts come from Dead Sea salt or Amazontic rock salt extracted from the foothills of the Judean Desert.
Because bath salts can be dangerous, many states have banned their manufacture and sale. In some jurisdictions, bath salts have been labeled “bath product,” and have prompted health concerns among consumers. This is particularly true in Washington DC, which passed a law in 2021 making it illegal to sell bath salts containing synthetic cathinones.
Historically, bath salts were sold legally as ephedrine or crystal meth. Mephedrone was made from crushed grass or other plant material grown illegally in the United States and introduced to the world in 2021. Crystal meth was also made from the ephedra plant material grown legally in the United States and introduced to the world in 2021. Although the two substances look similar, they are very different.
Mephedrone and bath salts contain two key chemical compounds: cathinone and ephedrine. The cathinone family contains two members: meth, and ephedrine. These chemicals are closely related but not interchangeable with each other. I’m not certain if there are any other bath salts containing these two chemicals. It appears that they act on the nerve cells to cause hallucinations, rather than acting as an hallucinogen.
Based on my own observations of those who have used these substances, it seems that they do not produce immediate or long-lasting euphoria. It is suggested that the euphoria produced by bath salts abuse is the result of calming the user down so he or she can be more tolerant to the effects of the chemicals themselves. This explains why no long-term side effects have been recorded.
Like a lot of stimulant substances, bath salt drugs can cause sleeplessness, impaired memory, and irritability. They also cause drowsiness, lack of concentration, and depression. Most users do not become addicted to bath salts; instead, the addiction is considered a gateway drug – one that leads to harder drugs or alcohol. The most likely scenario is that a user will use the bath salt drug then turn to another substance. This will usually progress until the user is using bath salt drugs regularly, or even multiple times a day.
Treatment for bath salt addiction is similar to that for other substance addictions, such as alcoholism or drugs. Doctors may prescribe drugs such as Diazepam (a benzodiazepine) or Xanax (alprazolam), to combat the effects of bath salts. Unfortunately, these compounds have multiple side effects, and the only real solution is to seek counseling. The counseling sessions may include detoxification (of the bath salt drugs), group therapy, and social service referrals. In rare cases, a medical detox may be necessary in which the patient detoxes from bath salt drugs without assistance.
If you think you have a bath salt addiction, please seek professional help. The health of yourself and your family is on the line. Although not known to be very addictive, stimulants are often closely related to addiction – the more you use them, the more you need them. Be aware of products containing synthetic cathinones and do your research to find out what others have to say about them.
MDPV, or the “bath salts methyl, hydroxymethane,” is also known by the aliases “stink” or “cocaine,” “speed,” or “crack.” M DPV is a synthetic cathinone similar to cocaine. Like cocaine, it produces a highly realistic “glassy feeling,” with feelings of paranoia, anxiety, and sexuality. The drug is most often smoked with marijuana or other stimulants such as methamphetamine.
Like other psychotropic drugs, bath salts, also called “bathbum” or “frown,” can have significant psychological effects on the user. Those who try it for the first time experience an increased urge to have sexual intercourse, even if they are not aroused. They also report feelings of paranoia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability, and extreme euphoria. Those who try their drugs repeatedly experience the same feelings with less intensity. This pattern is common among abusers of cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol.
Because many users begin their drug use with relatively safe self-medication, they do not typically become addicted or abusers until they become involved with more dangerous drugs. Even then, they are likely still using bath salts to calm their nerves and suppress their mood swings, and may occasionally experiment with self-medicating with them for other purposes (e.g., to overcome withdrawal symptoms when leaving a hypnotherapist’s office). Chronic bath salt users will tell you that they have fallen into a sort of trance-like state when leaving the bathroom. Because of the ease with which self-induced addiction can develop, and the violent behavior that occur when a bath salt overdose is taken, it is vitally important that bath salt users know about the serious health risks of taking excessive amounts.