What is Bath Salts?
Bath salts are a clever collection of medicinal designer drugs. The name comes from cases where the medications were disguised as bath salt. The bath salt, often white powdered, crystals, or powders often look like Epsom salts, yet are different chemically. But bath salt is just one of hundreds of chemical blends designed to be used as “natural” or “homeopathic” remedies. And it’s no wonder that consumers have begun to trust bath salt more than they do prescription medicines.
The most common chemicals found in mixtures used as bath salt are the alkaloids or aromatic substances. These substances can induce a “kick”, or “high”, as the name suggests, by producing a measurable physical reaction that some consider pleasurable. Other substances have been linked with serious health problems, including depression and anxiety, and even liver disease. In some cases, snoring bath salts intoxication has been fatal.
The most serious side effects from bath salt use seem to happen when a user combines the chemicals with something else. Often, the user is taking a natural, healthy stimulant such as caffeine or other herbs (such as St. John’s Wort, Passion flower, or chamomile), and is also ingesting a harmful addictive substance, such as street drugs like methamphetamines. When methamphetamines are taken in combination with bath salt, a deadly combination is possible. Methamphetamines are highly addictive, but the FDA has approved its use as a prescription stimulant, not an “over the counter” one.
Some stimulants used in bath salt products are so strong that they are highly addictive. Although they may produce the “high” a user is looking for, it may be hard to stop using the bath salts without experiencing severe withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms can include insomnia, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, shakes, diarrhea, and tremors. Each of these symptoms is perfectly normal in individuals who suffer from addiction, but if these symptoms are combined with other factors, including the use of designer drugs, it’s possible a person could die from bath salt overdose.
Although bath salts contain many of the same ingredients as illegal drugs such as crystal meth and heroin, they are far weaker than their illegal counterparts. It is difficult to manufacture a fatal amount of any of the bath salts without adding potentially dangerous synthetic cathinones. However, many bath salts contain small amounts of the synthetic cathinones, which can still produce serious symptoms. Some of the bath salts containing this ingredient have been found to contain over twenty times the lethal dosage of synthetic cathinones. While it may not be fatal, it certainly is extremely uncomfortable and irritating, and many times will result in an addict forgetting their goal of rehabilitation.
Some bath salts act like amphetamines and reach the central nervous system through the blood stream. Although bath salts do not contain any amphetamines or other chemically similar substances, they can affect the brain in a similar way that illegal drugs do. The effects of the synthetic cathinones found in bath salts can cross the blood brain barrier and enter the central nervous system. The effects of this chemical can be similar to those produced by illegal drugs, as it blocks the actions of normal neurotransmitters by binding with them chemically similar to amphetamines, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
When the bath salts cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the central nervous system, the chemical changes occur as a result of interaction between the bath salts and the chemicals produced by the brain. In many cases, this can result in serious mental health problems, such as delusions and hallucinations, along with other behaviors that mirror drug abuse. Other effects, such as slowed breathing, seizures, heart palpitations, sweating, confusion, and extreme mental disorientation can also be produced from a bath salt overdose. Unfortunately, many individuals who are susceptible to bath salt overdose don’t even realize that they have done anything wrong until they begin to show the symptoms of the bath salt overdose. It is for this reason that bath salt overdose should be avoided at all costs.
It’s important to note, however, that bath salt is not necessarily considered to be an addictive drug, despite the way some individuals may try to make it seem like they are. While bath salts can be highly addictive, it’s important to remember that they are generally safer than street drugs, which can prove to be quite dangerous over time. Even when bath salts aren’t abused, they still merit considering as a potentially dangerous drug, due to their potential for causing strange interactions in the body, and their potential for being habit forming.