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What Is Bath Salt Abuse?

Get the 411 on exactly what is bath salt

Bath salt is a new type of "designer" drug where a chemist makes a combination of drugs that a person uses to get high. However, this high has caused numerous people to make headlines for their drug abuse and the severe effects they cause. For this reason, it's important that a person is aware of what is bath salt so they can recognize if a loved one could be abusing bath salts.

Bath salt is known on the street by various slang terms, such as "ivory wave," "plant food," "jewelry cleaner," "vanilla sky," "bliss," or "purple wave." The drugs are made using a combination of synthetic chemicals that may be used in varying amounts to produce a high. Sometimes the bath salts consist of a drug known as methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV. However, the formulations can vary based on the location and person selling it. These components are chemically similar to the stimulants known as the khat shrub, which is grown in East Africa and southern Arabia.

Bath salts as a drug are not the same as the bath salts that are commercially sold in most drugstores and discount superstores. Instead, they are named for their appearance that closely resembles the small rocks that are bath salts.

Using bath salts is illegal. In 2012, the U.S. government passed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, making it illegal to use or abuse bath salts. Some of the ways that people abuse bath salts include snorting, shooting, or mixing the bath salts with foods and/or drinks. The act specifically lists 26 chemicals sometimes used in synthetic drugs that are illegal.

What Are Bath Salts Effects?

Bath salts effects can vary based on the formulation a person uses. The drugs are considered psychoactive substances because they change the way a person perceives their reality. However, some of the common short-term effects of bath salts people have when they take bath salts include:

  • Agitation
  • Chest pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension
  • Increase pulse
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Suicidal thoughts and thoughts of self-harm

Bath salts are chemically similar to amphetamines and stimulants, such as cocaine. They stimulate the central nervous system, causing effects such as higher heart rate and increased blood pressure. Other possible effects include nosebleeds, sweating, and kidney failure. The bath salts effects could have hazardous effects on those who have heart problems or history of congenital heart defects. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the MDPV ingredient that is common in bath salts is 10 times stronger than cocaine.

These are just some of the examples of the short-term effects of bath salts. One of the severe problems associated with bath salts is that their effects can be long-lasting. Even after a person's high has worn off, they still may experience the dangerous thoughts of self-harm and violence. Some of the most serious answers about what is bath salt is that many people do not know the long-term health effects of using bath salts as they are fairly new to the illegal drug environment.

Bath salts can be addictive. According to the NIDA, a laboratory study found that rats will self-administer bath salts, indicating that it does cause cravings for bath salts.

For more information on bath salt effects and rehabilitation for those who abuse bath salt, please call 973.679.3011.

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