The term “bath salts” is used to describe a group of designer drugs composed of chemicals known as synthetic cathinones. The chemical composition of cathinones like mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), or methylone produce similar effects to those felt by those who abuse amphetamines. Bath salts are considered to be highly addictive.
Classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, bath salts just as dangerous as drugs like heroin, LSD or ecstasy. They are often disguised as plant food or cleaning products and labeled as “not for human consumption” in order to be easily sold by illegal manufacturers.
Much like cocaine, bath salts come in a crystalline form, and can be injected, smoked, snorted, or taken in tablet form. Taking this drug produces feelings of euphoria and increased alertness and energy, among other effects.
These designer drugs are highly dangerous as their production is unregulated. The exact cathinone chemicals that are included in each batch vary extensively. Due to this extreme variation in chemicals and dosage taken by the user, the effects can be extremely dangerous. The regular abuse of bath salts can easily lead to addiction, which causes the user to lose complete self-control over how much or how often they consume the drug.
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Rehab programs that treat addiction to designer drugs can help patients address the physical and psychological effects of substance dependence. Once an initial assessment has been completed, most patients will undergo a supervised detoxification in which they will be weaned off the addictive drug. During this phase, they will closely monitored by medical professionals and may even be given medication to help mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal.
Inpatient residential treatment lowers the probability for relapse, as patients are required to live in the facility, anywhere from 30-90 days, depending on their specific case. Once detox is completed, the person will participate in counseling, including individual and group therapy. Therapists treat the psychological aspect of addiction through behavioral therapy techniques. This allows them to modify the patients’ behavior and thinking in an effort to discover the cause, as well as the triggers associated with their addiction.
Inpatient programs are considered to be the most successful as they provide a safe and stable environment, free of outside influences and access to drugs. Studies have shown that completing the full 30 days of rehab highly increases the likelihood of a successful recovery.
Abuse, N. I. (n.d.). Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”). Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2013, September 17). Report shows that “Bath Salts” drugs were involved in nearly 23,000 emergency department visits in one year [Press release]. Retrieved August 30, 2016, from https://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/press-announcements/201309170400
Last updated on July 19th, 2017 at 07:58 pm