Bath Salts Addiction

Journey offers cutting-edge treatment for addiction to a new form of a designer drug euphemistically referred to as “bath salts.” Named for a group of banned, manmade chemicals called synthetic cathinones, bath salts produce their effects by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing the normal communication rate between the brain’s nerve cells. Current scientific evidence indicates that the use of at least one of the most popular active ingredients in bath salts can trigger the onset of addiction. Use of these substances can also trigger a range of other serious side effects, including potentially fatal drug reactions. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.

Journey’s treatment program for addiction to bath salts includes cognitive-behavioral therapy supplemented by 12-Step involvement and individual, group and family sessions. These interventions, combined with proven holistic therapies, guide clients to a better understanding of the emotional factors and situational triggers that underlie their drug use and help them to establish healthier coping skills.

Basic Facts About Bath Salts

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Bath salts are designed to mimic the drug effects of cathinone, a naturally occurring stimulant found in an African plant called khat. Specific forms of these synthetic substances go by names that include methylone, mephedrone, methedrone, butylone and MDPV (3,4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone). In addition to the active ingredient in khat, they bear a chemical resemblance to both MDMA (Ecstasy, Molly) and amphetamine.

The precise effects of each bath salt main ingredient vary, but reported common effects include euphoria, increased alertness and social ease, and a heightened sexual libido, as well as typically unwanted outcomes such as a delirious, paranoid, aggressive or agitated state of mind. Users may also experience some form of hallucination or other symptoms normally linked to an unbalanced mental state called psychosis. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.

The “bath salts” euphemism came into use because manufacturers of synthetic cathinones often try to pass them off as harmless, everyday products such as bath salts (Epsom salts), jewelry cleaner or plant food. Names used for these products in online dispensaries, convenience stores and other commercial locations include Purple Wave, Cloud Nine, Vanilla Sky, White Knight and Meow-Meow. Bath salts come in various forms, including powders, capsules and tablets. Federal law in the U.S. specifically prohibits the sale or possession of several of the most common bath salt ingredients, including mephedrone and MDPV.

Bath Salts Addiction

In a study published in March 2014 in the journal Addiction Biology, researchers from Research Triangle Institute International and Arizona State University tested the addictive potential of MDPV (one of the most common bath salt ingredients) by conducting a series of animal-based laboratory experiments. The researchers concluded that repeated exposure to MDPV can lead to an uncontrolled pattern of drug use classically associated with drug addiction. They also concluded that exposure to the synthetic cathinone can produce brain alterations like those commonly observed in people affected by methamphetamine addiction and certain other forms of drug addiction. Since the study involved laboratory animals and not human beings, its findings are not definitive. However, they do highlight the addictive potential of repeated bath salt use.

Other Health Effects of Bath Salts

Potential short-term reactions to bath salt use include physical symptoms such as a steep rise in blood pressure, an excessively rapid heart rate and abnormal pain in the chest, as well as mental symptoms such as episodes of panic, various types of hallucinations and paranoia. In addition, some people develop a specific, potentially lethal combination of symptoms that includes abnormal muscle tissue breakdown (a condition known as rhabdomyolysis), loss of normal kidney function and dehydration. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that users of MDPV, methedrone, butylone and mephedrone have died as a result of bath salt use.

Additional Concerns

Since bath salts are produced illegally in unregulated circumstances, no one knows for sure which synthetic cathinones appear in any given product. In addition, in some cases, people who believe they are buying other illegal substances actually purchase and unknowingly use MDPV or another bath salt ingredient. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.

A law passed in 2012 banned the synthetic cathinones known to exist at that time, as well as any future substances derived from those cathinones. However, illicit drug manufacturers try to evade the law by creating new types of synthetic cathinones not chemically related to substances now in existence.