According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, bath salts, also known as “Ivory Wave,” “Red Dove,” and “Hurricane Charlie” have been linked to a growing number of ER visits across the country. Particularly alarming is how rapidly reports of Bath Salt related poisonings are increasing. According to the American Association of Poison Control, the number of calls to poison centers related to bath salts rose from 304 in 2010 to 6,138 in 2011.
What are bath salts?
The term “bath salts” refers to a family of synthetically produced drugs made from chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine like stimulant found in the khat plant. Bath salts are typically a white or brown powder that is inhaled, injected or taken orally. They are in no way related to bath salts like epsom salts or other hygiene products. The name was adopted as a way for manufacturers to avoid detection by authorities and to sell their products online and in drug paraphernalia shops. They are also sometimes labelled as “plant food” and “not fit for human consumption” to disguise the true nature of the product. While many of the ingredients commonly used to make bath salts have recently been classified as schedule 1 drugs, manufacturers are constantly putting new variations of the drug on the market, making it extremely difficult to regulate.
What are the signs of addiction to bath salts?
Bath salts are extremely addictive and signs of addiction can vary. There are, however, signs to be aware of when determining whether you or someone you know are suffering from bath salts addiction, including:
- disrupted sleep patterns
- panic attacks
- violent behavior
What are the short term and long term effects?
Because drugs labelled as “bath salts” are so varied, it is difficult to predict the effects of this type of drug abuse. However, there are certain shared characteristics reported by users and medical professionals. They can include:
- feelings of euphoria
- increased sexual appetite
- loss of inhibitions
- anxiety and panic attacks
- increased heart rate
- increased body temperature
Continued abuse of bath salts can lead to dangerous long term effects but it is important to know that these long term effects can happen after a single use of bath salts. These may include:
- suicidal thoughts and behaviors
- violent behavior
- kidney failure
- muscle degeneration
- liver failure
- cardiac damage
- loss of coordination
What happens in detox?
Before beginning bath salts addiction treatment, a period of detox is necessary. The detox process allows an addict’s mind and body to rid itself of the toxic chemicals found in bath salts, an essential first step for healing and recovery. Homeopathy, multivitamins and other health supplements are often used to facilitate the detoxification process. While detoxing will look and feel different for everyone, there are some general symptoms to be aware of, including:
- intense cravings
- memory loss
What is the treatment for bath salts addiction?
Bath salts addiction recovery is a multi-step process of abstinence, relapse prevention and long term rehabilitation. Addiction treatment specialists may use medications to ease the pain of withdrawal but more often therapy and support groups are the next step in the recovery process. Luxury Beach Rehab’s experienced specialists will teach patients techniques to manage cravings and find new ways of handling stress and triggers. Addicts may be treated for dual diagnosis, addressing both the physical addiction and any underlying psychological problems they may be dealing with. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one technique used by specialists to help patients understand how thoughts, feelings and behaviors contribute to addiction so that they can learn to develop healthy patterns of thinking that will improve coping skills and help them find lasting recovery.
Bath Salts addiction recovery can be extremely difficult and is best done under the care of professional addiction counselors.