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:
- methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV)
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
- extreme paranoia
- increases in blood pressure
- 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.
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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.