Drug treatment programs throughout Canada can help addicts overcome an addiction to bath salts, starting with a detox. The withdrawal symptoms will include depression, anxiety, irritability, and fatigue. Treatment for an addiction to synthetic cathinones should be gotten right away, as the risk for a psychotic break is real. Detox and either outpatient or inpatient drug treatment should be the options that addicts must consider when wanting to handle this type of addiction.
What are bath salts?
Synthetic cathinone or what is commonly referred to as bath salts is a chemical stimulant made in a lab, that is chemically related to cathinone. Cathinone is a naturally-occurring substance found in the khat plant, which grows in some parts of Africa, and is chewed by locals for a mild stimulant effect. The laboratory version of cathinone is, however, far stronger, addictive, and dangerous. Bath salts; which are not to be confused with legitimate bathing salts, comes in the form of a white or brown crystal-like powder. Synthetic cathinone or bath salts are sold illegally in a small plastic or foil package and are being coined a new psychoactive substance. This type of drug can be considered a cheaper substitute for methamphetamine or crystal meth, cocaine, and MDMA. Bath salts are used by swallowing it, snorting the drug, smoking it, or injecting it into the bloodstream. The primary ingredient used to produce bath salts in Canada has been banned for some time now, but this drug does still pop up throughout the country and became problematic in early 2012. Since making this drug illegal, Canadian addicts who abuse bath salts can easily purchase this drug online, through illegal Internet pharmacies. Unfortunately, it has been estimated that there are currently more than 12 different synthetic cathinones being marketed as bath salts. Synthetic psychoactive substances such as bath salts are nothing new in Canada, and there is still a small percentage of the general Canadian population that abuses these types of drugs.
The Effects of Bath Salts
Using bath salts or synthetic cathinones will cause dangerous short-term and long-term effects, impacting a person physically and psychologically. Bath salts do impact different chemicals being produced in the brain, and because of this, the drug will cause certain psychotic symptoms. Some of these mental side effects will include euphoria and excitement, anxiety and panic attacks, agitation, confusion, and hallucinations. Every individual who uses psychoactive substances will have a different experience, some worse than others. Psychotic breaks are known to happen when using this type of drug, and this can lead to violence and self-harm. The use of bath salts will affect the heart and lungs and may cause cardiac symptoms such as high blood pressure and chest pains. Users will also experience decreased blood circulation, shortness of breath, and their muscles will begin to shake or twitch, and they may experience convulsions or seizures. Addicts who use bath salts will experience headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting, along with high body temperature and fever. When bath salts are being synthetically made, they will often be mixed with other illegal drugs such as ketamine or cocaine. Some of the chemicals found bath salts include methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV; which is banned in Canada, and mephedrone, methylone, mephedrone, and methcathinone.
As with any other type of psychoactive substance, there will be significant long-term effects from using bath salts, that will impact someone physically and mentally. The long-term effects will involve depression, mood changes, insomnia, erratic or violent behavior, and psychosis. It is not uncommon with the use of bath salts to lead to suicide or death. The physical effects of consistent bath salt use will lead to kidney damage or failure, muscle breakdown, and skin rashes or skin infections. Pregnant women who use this drug are putting themselves at risk and placing their unborn child at risk. A woman will increase their risk for a miscarriage, premature delivery, and a decreased birth weight, and the newborn will be malnourished, irritable, and have sleep disturbances. Psychoactive substances such as bath salts can become addictive, because of the state of mind, it will place the user in. These types of drugs cause intense euphoria and an increased sense of well-being, which will become addictive. As with any other type of drug, the user can eventually develop a tolerance for it, which will result in them needing more of the substance to feel the effects of it.