There’s one particular substance that could be described as the most dangerous trend among substance abusers. That substance is called bath salts. Not to be confused with the bath salts you actually use for baths, this drug is as unpredictable as it is potentially deadly. With the use of bath salts showing no sign of slowing down, it’s important for us to be knowledgeable of this looming threat. In particular, we should be aware of what bath salts actually are, where it comes from, and what makes it such a dangerous drug.
What are Bath Salts?
One of a new wave of chemical intoxicants known as ‘synthetics’ or designer drugs, bath salts typically come in the form of white, crystalline granules that make the substance appear much like the Epsom bath salts you can purchase in stores. In fact, the resemblance allows those who create this toxic substance to sell it legally in stores under the guise of being actual Epsom bath salts with packaging that states “Not for human consumption” to circumvent prohibition laws; however, these are two distinctly different substances that should not be confused. Those who use bath salts can distinguish real bath salts from the ones that can be abused, allowing them to (hopefully) avoid using the wrong type and experiencing dangerous consequences. When they’re not labeled as Epsom bath salts, they’re frequently labeled as plant food or phone screen cleaner.
Alongside nitrous cartridges and synthetic marijuana, bath salts are a commercially available product that’s proven to be prone to abuse and, therefore, is extremely dangerous. Similar to spice, bath salts are a chemical product, which means that they contain one of a number of different chemicals that are similar in structure and in their effects to cathinones. Cathinones are an amphetamine-like stimulant that’s derived from the khat plant, accounting for the stimulant effects of bath salts. In fact, cathinone-like chemicals have proven to be similar not only to methamphetamines, but also to MDMA, or the active ingredient in the club drug widely known as ecstasy.
Usually, bath salts come in a white or brown crystalline form, are sold in stores in small baggie-like or foil packages that are often labeled as plant food, jewelry cleaner, or smartphone screen cleaner. As mentioned previously, you’ll typically see the warning “Not For Human Consumption” on the packaging, which is merely meant to exonerate the companies that produce this substance from liability in the event that users are harmed while under the influence of bath salts. In short, the warning allows them to continue knowingly selling this street drug.
Why Bath Salts Are So Dangerous
Although there are few cases in which bath salts are directly attributed to user deaths, the use of bath salts for recreational intoxication is notoriously dangerous as it totally inhibits normal cognitive functioning, resulting in users exhibiting bizarre behaviors and sometimes even becoming violent. In fact, it’s known that one of the many potential effects of bath salts use is temporary psychosis; after imbibing the bath salts, there have been a number of users who suddenly became aggressive, attacking the people around them or causing direct harm to themselves.
According to individuals who use bath salts—which can be smoked, eaten, insufflated (snorted through the nose), or injected—the objective when using bath salts is to achieve effects that are similar to ecstasy and cocaine. As such, most users believe that the drug will offer them feelings of euphoria and increased energy, making it increasingly popular for raves and parties (AKA a ‘club drug’). However, the sheer number of violent incidents caused by the recreational users of bath salts question whether the drug’s effects are merely euphoric and energizing.
There’s another major problem with bath salts, and that’s the individuals who inadvertently use bath salts when the drug is added to other types of substances that they’re purchasing, especially ecstasy and MDMA. In these instances, the drug has been “cut,” or intentionally diluted, with bath salts by the individuals who sell the drug to users. Although there’s always this risk with any drug since you can never know what the substance bought on the street actually has in it, adding bath salts to other street drugs is essentially making dangerous street drugs exponentially more dangerous than they already are. Even without the psychosis-like symptoms that bath salts often induce, the outcome of such a scenario can potentially be catastrophic.
Many have wondered how it could be that bath salts, which are clearly unpredictable and dangerous drugs, continue to be used by individuals when they often have dangerous, scary experiences while using the drug. The fact that bath salts are supposed to offer users an experience more in line with what they’d expect from ecstasy and other club drugs is largely thought to be the reason why individuals still continue to seek and consume the drug. Additionally, there’s no singular way of making bath salts since there is a long list of possible ingredients, which are frequently omitted from packaging. In other words, bath salts buyers are usually unsure of what’s in any particular batch of bath salts and, consequently, unable to determine how much they should take.
Overcoming Bath Salts Addiction at Malvern Institute
Without question, bath salts are surely one of the most dangerous of all street drugs used today. With such a range of possible effects, the continued use of this drug is all but a guarantee of unfortunate outcomes. However, Malvern Institute can offer those who have become dependent on bath salts a safe environment in which to overcome bath salts addiction. The Malvern Model of Care guides individuals through our full continuum of care, which begins with detoxification before proceeding through induction, inpatient care, and concluding with outpatient treatment. Our methods have proven, time and again, to be one of the best ways for an individual to overcome addiction.
If you would like to learn more about bath salts addiction treatment at Malvern Institute, or if you have any other questions, please call us anytime at 610.MALVERN (610.625.8376).