Bath Salts Abuse and Addiction

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Bath salts facts

  • Bath salts as drugs of abuse refer to white powder or crystalline substance that has no bathing or other cosmetic use.
  • The active ingredients in bath salts tend to be similar chemically and in their effects to stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines. Some have hallucinogenic effects.
  • The rate of bath salts abuse in the United States has rapidly increased over the last few years, and the substance is sold in many small stores as well as on the street.
  • A number of the active ingredients in bath salts are considered to be quite addictive and dangerous. They have therefore been banned by laws in the majority of states as well as by federal law.
  • There are a number of biological, psychological, and social factors (called risk factors) that can increase a person's likelihood of developing a bath salts abuse or dependency.
  • The signs and symptoms of bath salts intoxication tend to include feeling euphoric ("high"), sexually stimulated, thinking one is more focused, and having a high energy level for two to four hours after taking the drug.
  • Multiple severe medical and emotional complications can result from bath salts abuse, including death.
  • Health-care professionals diagnose bath salts abuse and addiction by thoroughly gathering medical, family, and mental-health information.
  • The treatment of bath salts intoxication involves providing intensive medical monitoring and attention to address the specific symptoms experienced by the individual.
  • Treatment for the psychological symptoms of addiction likely takes a great deal longer than managing the medical problems involved.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/19/2012

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Bath Salts Effects

Unfortunately, "bath salts" have already been linked to an alarming number of ER visits across the country. Doctors and clinicians at U.S. poison centers have indicated that ingesting or snorting "bath salts" containing synthetic stimulants can cause chest pains, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, and delusions. It is noteworthy that, even though we are barely two months into 2011, there have been 251 calls related to "bath salts" to poison control centers so far this year. This number already exceeds the 236 calls received by poison control centers for all of 2010. In response to this emerging threat, several states, including Hawaii, Michigan, Louisiana, Kentucky, and North Dakota, have introduced legislation to ban these products, which are incidentally labeled as "not fit for human consumption." In addition, several counties, cities, and local municipalities have also taken action to ban these products.

SOURCE:

National Institute on Drug Abuse


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