Bath salts are a slang name for the designer drug, scented salts used in making bath products. The term derives from occasions where the new drugs were pretested as bath salts. The crystals, powders, or slabs often look like Epsom salts, however, are different chemically. Bath salts generally contain magnesium sulfate, sodium sulfate, and chloride, sometimes with other substances added. Scented oils and water are sometimes added to improve the fragrance of the product.
The use of bath salts is on the rise and has been associated with increasing cases of addiction. Many of the chemical compounds in these products have not undergone stringent testing for their toxicity or effects on humans. The overuse or underuse of these compounds can lead to a wide range of symptoms including headaches, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, confusion, depression, agitation, anxiety, fever, tremors, memory loss, seizures, and abdominal pain. Some of the active ingredients may cause adverse effects if taken in large quantities; others may react poorly with some individuals.
The stimulant effects of the drug “mephedrone” are believed to be the cause of the recent surge in bath salts use. As the popularity of this drug rises, more people are reporting negative side effects. In the eyes of the drug enforcement agency, ephedrine is considered to be one of the most dangerous drugs on the national drug scene today. Because of the negative media attention and criminal charges facing users of this drug, more teens and young adults are thinking about how to steal the designer products to make their own “bath salts”.
Other cathinone analogues, including “bath salts,” have become popular over the last year or two. This includes “bathtub ring,” “bath beads,” and “bath salts.” The cathinone derivative “bath salts,” has become the focus of increasing scrutiny due to reports of its dangerous health effects. This has prompted local jurisdictions to begin prohibiting their recreational use. While the trend may seem silly to some, the police and other officials see the trend for what it truly is: a dangerous drug that is increasing the risks for young people to use and sell. With all the negative press surrounding these drugs, it’s easy to see why police departments are trying to put an end to the use of these products in local neighborhoods.
Because of the trend of using bath salts as a means to self-medicate for common ailments, an association was drawn between bath salts and criminal activity. One police chief called the substance “a new trend in crime.” According to the Associated Press, police in Scotland were quoted as saying that bath salts were being used as a method by which “offenders” could get high. Additionally, one police officer was quoted as saying that drugs such as cocaine and crystal meth were being abused in the same way. The Scottish authorities stated that they were dealing with a “new breed” of criminals that were becoming influenced by bath salts.
Using these products as a way to self-medicate has also been linked to substance abuse, especially benzodiazepines like Valium and Ativan. These prescription medications are highly addictive and have caused deaths from drowning and drug overdose in certain individuals. Other common substances that are being abused by abusers of these medications include codeine and hydrocodone. While there is some debate as to whether bath salts are causing these kinds of problems, the link between them and toxicology is clear.
Toxicology experts have speculated that the main cause of bath salts side effects is excessive stimulation of the heart rate. This occurs because the user is using the product as a way to stimulate the senses and thus increase the “pleasure appeal” of the experience. The high amounts of stimulating chemicals can also cause short term memory loss and can result in hallucinations. Many users have reported having conversations with deceased relatives. Unfortunately this type of psychotropic behavior often results in disaster – people do not realize that their behaviors are dangerous until it is too late.
The above mentioned symptoms are just a small sample of the possible toxicology symptoms. The actual list goes on and is constantly being updated. When combined with all the other symptoms that bath salts users may experience, the potential side effects become significantly more serious. If you think that you or someone that you know might be a bath salts user, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Medical toxicologists will be able to run various tests that will determine if the user has a drug problem – and if so, which type of drug they are addicted to.