Bath salts, a form of synthetic cathinone, are becoming more popular among teens and club-goers. Calls to poison centers related to bath salt drugs rose from 236 in 2010 to 251 in January of 2011.
They are made up of a combination of two new synthetic stimulants – MDPV and mephedrone – which produce effects similar to cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and LSD. They are highly addictive and can bring on intense cravings after only a few uses.
The drug affects the brain by flooding it with dopamine, a natural neurotransmitter. This increases mood, causing a rapid, euphoric high that can lead to erratic behavior and dangerous alterations in the user’s body, including hallucinations, tremors, heart rate fluctuations, delusions and paranoia.
These side effects aren’t necessarily life-threatening, but they can be uncomfortable and can cause a lot of stress for people who abuse them. Those who struggle with drug addiction can seek professional help and support to stop using bath salts.
Withdrawal from bath salts is not as severe as withdrawal from other drugs, but it can still be difficult. Withdrawal symptoms can include depression, fatigue and anxiety. These can lead to suicidal thoughts and mental health issues.
It is important to know that there are many ways to use bath salts safely and effectively. They can be used as a way to relax and relieve stress, help treat aches and pains, or as part of a detoxification program. They can also be used to treat eczema and other skin conditions.