Sunday April 20th 2014

Can you get addicted to bath salts?

Yes, bath salts are extremely addictive. Not only can you easily get addicted after using small amounts of this drug, but bath salts containing amphetamine-like chemicals can cause lasting brain damage and serious physical side effects.

What exactly is in bath salts? And how does it affect the body when you take the drug? More on what’s known of the chemistry of bath salts and how it can affect people who take it here.

What’s in bath salts?

“Bath salts” is the name given to a group of designer drugs sold in the form of a powder, often containing amphetamine-like chemicals. Although bath salts are not meant for human consumption, people take bath salts to get high. But the contents of these drugs are not often known, as bath salt compositions are highly variable. Bath salt mixtures can include:

  1. methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV)
  2. mephedrone
  3. pyrovalerone

Sold under names like “Ivory Wave,” “Blue Silk,” and “Vanilla Sky,” these drugs are ingested, inhaled, or injected to achieve a stimulant-style high. Snorting or intravenously injecting these drugs can be especially dangerous; in one recent, high-profile case a woman contracted flesh-eating bacteria after shooting up with balh salts and had to have an entire arm amputated. But mephedrone, in particular, is a dangerous drug that presents a high risk of overdose.

What do bath salts do in the body?

Bath salts are not regulated or approved for human consumption. However, bath salts can have different effects on the body depending on what chemicals they contain. Since the contents of the drug are highly variable, it’s hard to predict how a batch will affect someone. In most cases, bath salts often have a stimulant effect and can cause:

  • chest pains
  • delusions
  • extreme paranoia
  • increases in blood pressure
  • hallucinations
  • psychotic episodes

The drugs that make up bath salts have also been reported to cause psychotic episodes which can last for over 12 days.

How do you get addicted to bath salts?

Much like methamphetamine bath salts cause intense cravings after you start taking them for a while. Addiction usually develops after a period of continued use, and continues despite negative consequences to health, social or work life. Since little is known about the ingredients in each brand, it’s difficult to say exactly why this happens. Unfortunately, because the drug is extremely addictive, many people compulsively seek out the drug despite the horrific side effects.

Who gets addicted to bath salts?

Anyone who takes bath salts can easily become addicted to them. The drug is extremely potent, so even small amounts can cause addiction. Small doses of the drug have comparable effects to much higher doses of methamphetamine. Many states have responded to these new drugs by banning them and instituting jail time for those caught using or distributing bath salts.

How to avoid bath salts addiction

The only way to avoid an addiction to bath salts is to avoid these drugs entirely. Even taking it once can land a person in the emergency room – during the first 7 months of 2011, over 4,000 calls about bath salts were made to poison control centers across the country. Multiple deaths and suspected suicides have been reported in bath salt users.

Reference sources:
Hallucinogens Legally Sold as “Bath Salts” a New Threat
“Bath Salts” – Emerging and Dangerous Products
Keep “Bath Salts” in the Tub article from teen drug abuse [dot] gov

Leave a Reply

11 Responses to “Can you get addicted to bath salts?
FromNY
8:13 pm March 27th, 2012

All I can do is speak for myself. I began using bath salts in November and am now addicted to one called Sextacy. The effects for me are like snorting coccaine (I have never smoked bath salts), but it does not burn, taste, or drip down your throat. I order them every week and they come directly to my door. I am usually very healthy, but had such difficulty breathing about a month ago I went to the urgent care clininc. I oviously didn’t tell them what had caused the problem, they assumed it was a newly acquired allergy to one of my pets. They gave me steroids, anti biotic, allegra, and an inhaler. This happened when I was taking a different brand of bath salts and now the current one I take leaves me a little short of breath but I use the inhaler and I’m fine. I KNOW this is awful and I KNOW everything anyone could ever tell me and when people preach and become irrate at an addicted person all it does is freak them out and cause defensivness so really it’s a lose lose situation. I’m making this crappy choice. Unfortunatly they make me feel amazing which is why people do drugs in the first place. I always like to point out, for what it’s worth that I have no children and on a side note have never felt the suicide tendencies or psychosis which has been documented in several cases. I typically hate to comment on things because of the crappy things people say, but here you go.

3:13 am March 28th, 2012

Hi FromNY. I appreciate your willingness to step forward and take responsibility for bath salt addiction. You seem to have an awareness of the problem, but no real consequences as of now that compel you to stop using. I’d just suggest that you look into HOW drug addiction is treated and self-help programs like SMART Recovery, 12 step groups, or Rational Recovery to know what to do when you want to stop. What’s your fear about self-reporting with the doctors? Confidentiality?

Trevor
7:27 pm April 3rd, 2012

Great information on the addictive qualities of bath salts. The amount of these cases is growing at an alarming rate, and they can be difficult to treat due to the wide range of symptoms occurring during detox. Any drug that is described as sometimes being like “cocaine, meth, LSD” mixed together is something we all really need to keep an eye on! I’ve actually just discovered your blog and linked to this article. Will be reading through your other articles and resources as well!

wes
11:50 am May 13th, 2012

i did salts for almost a year. Red dove to be precises! I thought there was nothing wrong eighter. All i can say speaking from someone still fresh off the salts. Put them down and walk away. i have always been strong thought i could handle it aswell. This stuff put me on the ground, the people around me were all on it to. watched a few good friends lose there minds others there jobs and families. I conceder myself lucky all i lost was my job when i went to get help. The help part was hard because no one knew what i was on. it was just hitting the news and poison control centers were just finding this stuff. That was almost a year ago. Still crave the salt but will always have a few side effects from that year of heavy use. One being adhd, problems sleeping, along with being eaisly aggitated. Thats just my advice. I think i might have a clue having survived a 5,000 mg a day habbit for that long. Thats 1 – 10 times more then you do now i know but when i started 500mg would last me almost a wk. You see were i stopped.

wes
11:57 am May 13th, 2012

I did the stuff you were on as well youll keep changing brands till you dont see the effects. if that ever happens you will end up like me. It was roughly six months till i couldnt tell but everyone else could. By the time i seen the effects, i was 135 lbs and looked like a dead man walking. Now at least im back to 180lbs and have a complection and a body im not ashamed off i mean i looked like a starved person from a 3rd world country no bull

4:05 pm May 14th, 2012

Hi Wes. Thank you for sharing more about your experience with bath salts. I hope that your message might be able to help someone who wants to quit. What did you you do during withdrawal and how did you stop?

Klauntz
9:26 am June 12th, 2012

As Someone who is currently fighting bathsalt addiction, Please dont do it, its not worth it. the addition is insane, apparently very similar to meth, ive never touched meth, but i cant imagine that this is any better for you. Save your self money, and regret by just not doing it.

BadBadBad
1:17 am June 18th, 2012

Do not use these! I have and stay away. You cannot hate yourself enough to put this junk in your body. You will only end up worse. STAY AWAY FROM DRUGS and ANYONE offering you drugs! PLEASE take it from someone who didn’t take all the advice out here.

7:35 pm June 20th, 2012

Hello Klauntz and BadBadBad. Thank you for sharing your perspective. I hope that your experience can help others who may be thinking about trying bath salts!

mary
4:39 pm October 24th, 2012

i have a loved one suffering from bath salt addiction and he has lost everything- his job, his girl and two kids, his car, his family his home, has sold everything he owned near and dear to his heart- denies usage- hangs around a group who do nothing but steal and get higher and higher every day

Noel
4:16 am May 8th, 2013

My husband started snorting bath salts almost two years ago but I did not find out until he had been on them for about six months. Since I found out I have done extensive research and from personal experience I can tell you from living with him these drugs are highly addictive. His personality has changed, he gets angry easily, he has lost about 20 pounds and looks like he is dying. He says he has tried to quit, went to a 30 day treatment program, got out and started using again. I am wondering if anyone can share their experience regarding how you have been affected mentally and physically from long term daily use with times of going on three or four day binges. I see changes in his memory, he shakes like he has Parkinson’s disease and the minute he sits down he falls asleep and twitches and jerks a lot. Any information would be helpful.

Leave a Reply