Bath Salts

“Bath salts” may sound harmless enough. The reality is that this term refers to dangerous and potentially fatal street drugs. Bath salts abuse and addiction to bath salts has been a growing problem in recent years requiring many addicts to seek bath salts treatment.

Also known as Flakka, Bloom or Cloud Nine, bath salts are synthetic cathinones. This means they a manmade version of a substance found in khat which is a shrub native to East Africa and southern Arabia with leaves that are normally chewed for their stimulant effects.

Synthetic cathinones are generally considerably stronger than those found in nature. They are chemically similar to amphetamines, cocaine and MDMA, and are marketed as less expensive alternatives to these drugs.

The chemical composition of bath salts varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. They often contain methylenedioxypyrovalerone, mephedrone and pyrovalerone – all of which are extremely potent and potentially dangerous chemical compounds. Synthetic cathinones also contain any number of harmful adulterants.

The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies bath salts as a Schedule I drug meaning that they have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Bath salts come as a white or brown powder or crystals that can be snorted, taken orally, smoked, or put into a solution and injected. The powders may be sold in packages with names like “bath salts,” “plant food,” “jewelry cleaner,” or “phone screen cleaner,” and marked “not for human consumption.” When labeled this way they may be sold online or in drug paraphernalia stores. This easy access has in part fueled the problem of bath salts abuse.

As is the case with amphetamines, cocaine, and MDMA, bath salts boost dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is the main neurotransmitter that produces feelings of pleasure and well-being. As a result, users may experience a sense of euphoria when using synthetic cathinones as well as an increased sex drive and sociability. But using these drugs also produce a number of other feelings including:

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Combativeness
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Violent behavior

Bath salts have a number of negative side effects. Bath salts symptoms of use include nosebleeds, sweating and nausea. Users may experience heart palpitations, high blood pressure and chest pains. Side effects can be still-more severe including dehydration, breakdown of muscle tissue attached to bones and kidney failure. Overdoses have been known to be fatal.

Addiction to bath salts is possible. Whenever one partakes in bath salts drug abuse, dopamine levels are being artificially raised; as a result the brain begins to produce less of it. Consequently, users begin craving larger and more frequent doses. As users develop a tolerance to bath salts, they need to take more in order to achieve the desired effect which can quickly develop into addiction.

Someone who is heavily abusing or is addicted to bath salts and finds the desire to stop will then be faced with another problem: detox. Detox is signaled by the presence of withdrawal symptoms as the body tries to rid itself of harmful chemicals. As a result, quitting can be extremely difficult and the individual may end up requiring bath salts treatment. Withdrawal from bath salts produces the following symptoms:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Paranoia
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Extreme agitation
  • Nausea
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Treatment For Bath Salts Addiction

In most cases, treatment for baths salts drug abuse will include detox and therapy. Detox may be needed for those experiencing withdrawal symptoms to gradually remove the dangerous toxins that have built up in the user’s body because of the repeated use of bath salts. Once a person has successfully completed the detox process they can move forward with the rest of their treatment which will normally involve different types of individual and group therapy. A good treatment program should address any underlying problems which may be fueling the addiction while outfitting the individual with long-lasting tools to help them maintain their sobriety.

Treatment at Sovereign Health of Texas

Sovereign Health of Texas offers medically assisted detox and a host of effective therapeutic methods at its El Paso facility to provide patients with effective treatment programs that will guarantee they can find long-lasting recovery

Sovereign Health creates comprehensive and individualized treatment plans designed to meet the specific needs of each patient. We know it is not enough to just treat the physical consequences of drug abuse so we make sure to identify and address the underlying issues that are contributing to the problem. We conduct comprehensive physical and psychological examinations to uncover any co-occurring conditions that may be contributing to bath salts abuse. Based on the results of the examinations, Sovereign then employs the appropriate evidence-based treatment modalities to help the patient achieve recovery. Each effective treatment program may include:

  • Detoxification
  • Individual and process group therapy
  • Stress and anger management groups
  • Schema treatment
  • Narrative treatment
  • Mindfulness training
  • Biopsychosocial assessment
  • Life skills education
  • Experiential outings
  • Couples therapy
  • Continuing care program

We provide treatment on an inpatient basis as well as partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs. We also offer residential treatment to men and women 18 years and older.

If you would like more information about the bath salts treatment offered by Sovereign Health of Texas please call our 24/7 helpline.

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“The therapy here helped me really look at myself and find that I am a strong individual that can deal with this and move forward in my life.”- Katie