Information on Illicit Drugs
Bath Salts (Synthetic Cathinones) Effects
Another wave of dangerous drugs has developed, creating astounding side effects in young people, more commonly referred to as “Bath Salts.” The most common names for this substance include “Vanilla Sky,” “Cloud Nine,” and “Scarface,” but is formally referred to as mephedrone (4-MMC), methylone (MDMC), and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV or MDPK). The drug has a crystalline, powdery consistency similar to that of Epsom salts and closely resemble them.
Pharmacology and Types of Bath Salts
Bath Salts have been cleverly disguised as plant food, cleaning products (Drano, for example), and hookah cleaner due to its coarse salt-like appearance. The chemical composition of them include derivatives of pyrovalerone (a psychoactive drug) or pipradrol (a central nervous system stimulant). This recreational party drug is manufactured in various bright and engaging colors and aromas because of the addition of synthetic colorings and artificial flavorings.
Uses and Effects of Bath Salts
Bath Salts may be ingested, inhaled, smoked, or injected to allow for immediate absorption into the body. They are most commonly consumed with alcohol, intensifying the psychostimulant and rewarding effects which include a significant increase in dopamine levels. The other main side effects include:
- Elevated heart rate and hypertension
- Excitability and irritability
- Hallucinations and paranoia
- Violence and aggression
- Headaches and visual impairment
- Seizures and agitation
- Unconsciousness and death
- Homicidal and suicidal thoughts
Addiction and Withdrawal Symptoms
The euphoric qualities of Bath Salts are the sources of rapid addiction in users in addition to its being easy to obtain (e.g. the internet, convenience stores, and smoke shops). Unusually large doses of the drug prompt emergency room trips caused by psychotic episodes, but users still fail to cease drug use afterward. Standard drug treatments for a Bath Salts overdose are ineffective because of their complete chemical properties.
Withdrawal symptoms for Bath Salts addiction include cravings, depression, anxiety, fatigue, memory loss, inability to focus, sinus problems, violent behavior, and poor sleeping habits. Constant monitoring of the patient is crucial as well as a full detoxification regimen during the withdrawal period.
Long Term Effects of Bath Salts Abuse
Prolonged addiction to Bath Salts creates irreparable damage to bodily organs and severe psychological illness such as liver failure, heart attack, brain swelling, panic disorders, and psychosis. Professional treatment methods should be used to address addiction for the patient, family, and friends. Several U.S. states have introduced legislation to ban the sale of these drugs, labeling them with additional chemical dependency warnings.