Bath Salts Abuse and Addiction: The Dangers of This Powerful Drug

Bath salts addiction and abuse continues on, although most everyone knows how dangerous this drug can be. It has also touched our home state of Idaho, while that may be hard to believe.

Bath salts has been nicknamed The Zombie Drug, and for good reason. When people take it, they have been known to behave like zombies – the type that horror films are known for. The DEA has made this drug illegal in Idaho, and they have even used language that would ban future versions of it. But that does not seem to stop people from using it.

The problem with drugs like bath salts is that they are often viewed as purely recreational. In general, people have no idea the scope of the problems they can cause. While authorities are taking the proper steps to control them, people can still order them online. Many people get them from China, but they are also available on the street.

We believe more people need to be made aware of the dangers of bath salts. We also want people to know that if they are currently abusing this drug, help is available for them to recover.

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Interesting Facts About Bath Salts

They may sound harmless, but they're nothing like you would buy at Bath and Body Works. You can't even use it in your bath at all. This is a manmade drug that has taken the U.S. by storm.

There's probably a lot about this substance that you don't know. According to National Geographic:

  • In 2010, Poison Control Centers across the United States received 304 phone calls about this substance.
  • Between January and June of 2011, they received 3,470 phone calls.
  • The chemicals in bath salts come from the khat plant. They are synthetic derivatives of cathinone.
  • Synthetic drugs like this one don't show up on drug tests. This makes them even more popular.
  • It was estimated that in 2011, there were at least 1,000 manufacturers of synthetic drugs in the U.S.

Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse tells us that:

  • The makers of this drug will sell them labeled as "plant food" or "phone screen cleaner." This is a way for them to avoid being detected by the DEA.
  • Some people have taken them thinking they were actually taking Ecstasy or MDMA.
  • In 2010, this drug was known as a way to get legally high.
  • It wasn't until 2012 that the President signed legislation that legally banned two types of bath salts.
  • Manufacturing continues, as drug makers have found ways to substitute other ingredients. This allows them to bypass current drug laws.

The Dangers of This New Drug

Experts aren't really sure what bath salts are really made of. The ingredients are always changing, which puts users at an even greater risk. People use this drug because they're looking to be more social and experience a greater sense of joy. However, they usually get more than they bargained for.

Individuals who use them often experience extreme paranoia. They may have hallucinations and chest pain. Some may even become homicidal or suicidal. It's a drug that causes people to behave in ways they never would normally. It's almost as though they're ticking time bombs, and the unpredictability of this drug is a cause for concern.

Alternate and Street Names for the Bath Salts Drug

The chemical name for this substance is synthetic cathinones.

Bath Salts Addiction

On the street, it can go by a number of different street names. These include:

  • Bloom
  • Lunar Wave
  • Scarface
  • Vanilla Sky
  • Cosmic Blast
  • Cloud Nine
  • Flakka
  • Ivory Wave

Sadly, every day there are thousands of Internet searches on, how do you use the bath salts drug?. This certainly indicates that the use of this substance is only becoming more commonplace.

Synthetic cathinones come in a powder that can be white or brown. It has the appearance of crystals. There are different ways to use them. Users can swallow them, smoke them, snort them or inject them. Experts say that injecting them and snorting them are the most dangerous methods.

Using Synthetic Cathinones and the High That Results

There are a lot of bath salts stories online that you can find easily. Many of these stories are often shrugged off as being false, or simply as propaganda. If you dig deeper, you'll find that they actually happened.

The synthetic cathinones high experience is unlike any other drug. There are stories about people behaving in strange ways while high on bath salts, such as:

  • Drinking hand sanitizer
  • Becoming cannibalistic to the point of attacking and eating someone's face
  • Getting strange infections that require limb amputation
  • Killing animals
  • Attacking family members with weapons
  • Getting arrested repeatedly

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The Effects of This Substance on You Physically and Psychologically

Using synthetic cathinones will have a serious effect on you, both physically and mentally. Even if you use the drug one time without much consequence, the next use is likely to be much different. You need to be aware of what could happen to you.

Up until the surge of this drug, zombies were creatures that only made their appearance in movies. Once synthetic cathinones came on the scene, fantasy quickly became reality.

Apparently, there's a good reason why this drug turns people into zombies. According to an article on the Huffington Post website:

"The side effects of bath salts are zombie-like because when you have increased dopamine levels mixed with lack of sleep and all of the other crazy side effects, your central nervous system doesn't work properly - you don't feel pain...Bath salts users aren't really there, they are just a body walking around."

The result is: Paranoia, Fear, Dark hallucinations, Restlessness, and Hyperthermia.

Using this drug has a profound physical effect on the body. In short, it's as though the body senses that it's under attack because of the drugs. The result is the following physical side effects:

  • An increase in body temperature
  • High blood pressure
  • A higher heart rate than normal
  • A much higher pain tolerance
  • Chest pain
  • Painful headaches

You are at a high risk for a heart attack when you're using synthetic cathinones. You could also have a stroke. You could begin having seizures as well.

The short-term effects of synthetic cathinones are staggering. It's incredible to think of what could happen to you after just one use of this dangerous substance. However, research has shown that even in the short-term, their use can result in:

  • Violent behaviors
  • Thoughts of suicide, or suicidal behaviors
  • A false sense of euphoria that quickly becomes paranoia
  • An uncontrollable craving for them
  • Instances of self-harm due to not feeling much pain
  • A skin rash
  • A skin-crawling feeling
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Nosebleeds and burning in the nose
  • A herniation in the brain stem
  • Blurry vision

Unfortunately, so many people go back to using this drug time and time again. There are serious consequences associated with using bath salts long-term. Some of these include:

  • The risk of kidney damage, and even kidney failure
  • The risk of liver damage
  • Breaking down the muscle in the body
  • A high risk of internal infections
  • Swelling of the brain, and even becoming brain dead

If you're a long-time user of this drug, you could die. There is no avoiding that fact. Far too many people have died because of them, which is what led to it being banned.


Why do People Think Abusing Bath Salts is a Good Idea?

Experts believe that people first began the abuse of bath salts because it was new. It was a fad that quickly grew in popularity. It was a legal drug, and very easy to get. Many convenience stores were selling it on their shelves, but under many different names. It was also available online for purchase.

What was once an easy way to get high quickly morphed into something more dangerous. This drug is known as a substitute for cocaine, methamphetamine or amphetamines. That means it's highly addictive. One of the ingredients in most recipes is Mephedrone, which is of particular concern. This chemical is highly addictive and can even lead to addiction after just one use.

Can You Get Addicted to Synthetic Cathinones?

You absolutely can form an addiction to synthetic cathinones. As we previously stated, you can become addicted after just one use, in some cases. This is due to the way that the drug causes dopamine surges in the brain. Synthetic cathinones also prevent the reabsorption of the excess dopamine. This means that the levels remain high for quite some time.

After a while, this chemical that your brain normally produces on its own, will stop being produced. People find that the only way they feel good again is when using the drug. This is what leads to the addiction.

If you regularly use bath salts, it's safe to say you are probably addicted. However, you do need to find out for sure. You can find out by looking for any of the short or long-term effects listed above in your own life. If you have cravings for this drug, or you go through withdrawal when you stop, you're probably an addict.

If you need more confirmation than that, taking an addiction quiz might help you. You could also talk with an addiction treatment specialist to find out what they recommend you do.

Bath Salts in the Idaho News

Many news outlets – including the Idaho State Journal – started reporting about the potential ban of bath salts back in 2011. It took a few years, but authorities were able to pass legislation that banned the drug. Still, it shows up in the news from time to time.

The stories about bath salts abuse and addiction are often hard to believe. This drug makes people behave in ways that are unimaginable. Still, it is important to read them because the more people who know what this drug can really do, the better.

According to an article on the IdahoNews website, five people were arrested for possessing bath salts in 2018. A search warrant uncovered many different drugs, including heroin, meth and fentanyl.

These five individuals faced many charges, including possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. But please know that this was not an isolated case. This drug may not be in the news as much as it was just five years ago, but bath salts are still readily available; even in our own state.

A recent article in The Spokesman-Review out of Spokane, Washington tells the story of a man who stabbed a young child. It is believed that he could have been under the influence of bath salts. The drug was described as being one part of a “cocktail” (along with rat poison) that the man used to get high.

The man had a long history of drug abuse that included taking as many as 45 tablets of Benadryl at a time. When he used bath salts, he claimed that the drug offered him insight into “23,001 dimensions of the universe that were being taken over by scientists.”

The attack itself was completely random. He approached him from behind and held him in a bear-hug. Then he stabbed him with a knife and repeatedly told the boy’s father that he was sorry as he was doing it. The father responded by punching the man, and he and the witnesses at the scene held him until the authorities arrived. The boy’s injuries were non-life-threatening, but he was charged with attempted murder and child assault.

Police officers from the Boise Police Department arrested eight people for drug possession. Several different drugs were found, including bath salts, cocaine, meth and heroin. The police department stated that there were several hotels where drug activity was known to be a problem. They did not release the names of the hotels.

The Boise Police Department wants to make people aware of the fact that that the opioid epidemic had become a national problem. They are being diligent to try to keep that and other drug issues from becoming prominent in Boise. Their efforts may be helping, but it seems there is no escaping substance abuse. People are drawn to drugs like bath salts and the others that were found at the scene in this case.

Our final story also happened right here in Boise. In 2016, the Ada County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop. A man, a woman, and their infant son were in the car. He was just five months old at the time. They were stopped because the woman was driving erratically. A drug-sniffing dog indicated that there were drugs in the car, which prompted a more thorough search by the officers.

The search uncovered heroin, cocaine and bath salts. Most of the heroin was found hidden away in the baby’s diaper bag. There were also two guns in the car, along with several types of drug paraphernalia.

The baby was placed in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The couple was charged with drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance. These are felony charges. Trafficking heroin is punishable by life in prison.

Clearly bath salts is a drug that has not gone away, even if it is not prominent in the news. It is a substance that ravages lives. It steals people away from their families, causes them to commit crimes, and even results in serious injuries and death.

Quitting Bath Salts and the Correct Steps You Should Take

First and foremost, please don't stop using this drug on your own.

You could experience withdrawal symptoms, such as:

  • Depression that can lead to suicide
  • Severe anxiety
  • Violent behaviors
  • Problems with your memory
  • Inability to think clearly

You need professional help to avoid a relapse, and potentially, an overdose. Getting bath salts addiction treatment is the best way for you to proceed.

Treatment for your addiction is available to you in drug rehab. You'll find that this is the best way for you to stop using this drug safely. Going to a professional rehab program offers you so many benefits, such as:

  • Getting the chance to learn about your addiction.
  • Finding out if you have a co-occurring disorder, which could be contributing to your addiction.
  • Learning from others and participating in peer counseling and therapy.
  • Having the opportunity to talk with a counselor one on one about your addiction.
  • Being able to work on improving your relationships with your family.
  • Gaining the necessary coping skills to live your life without being reliant on drugs.
  • Getting help for your withdrawal symptoms to drastically reduce their severity.

You may feel like you made the biggest mistake you could have made by starting the use of this drug. However, you need to know that you're not alone. Others have gone down the same path, but they were able to successfully recover. There's no reason why that can't end up being your story too.

Your Path to Recovery From Bath Salts Addiction

Using bath salts regularly has done so much damage to your life. You probably have loved ones who are very worried about your safety and well-being. You may think that there's no turning back now that you've started using this drug. Please know that this isn't true. While it is hard to admit you have a problem that needs help, once you do, the rewards are abundant.

At Ashwood Recovery, we have the tools, knowledge and information you need. We've worked with many people who suffered from bath salts addictions in the past. We know how hard it is to overcome this challenge, but we also know that it's worth it. We can provide you with the guidance and direction you need to safely recover.

We offer an intensive outpatient treatment program that might be perfect for you. It's a flexible program, which allows you to live at home and get the treatment you need. Of course, we're happy to answer any questions you may have about IOP and whether it's right for you.

Do you need to learn more about bath salts abuse, addiction or recovery? Are you ready to get started right away with quitting this dangerous drug? Either way, please contact us so we can begin helping you.

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