Welcome to the beginning of your journey to recovery from abusing bath salts. This is a comprehensive article that takes you through the signs and risks of bath salt abuse, which is actually to say the risks of abusing designer drugs that are sold under the disguise of bath salts. This article will show you how to recognize bath salt abuse signs and risks in order to help someone in need. We’ll also cover what withdrawal from bath salts can be like, and finally what The Haven has to offer in the way of detoxification from bath salts, the utterly important first step toward recovery.
If you wish only to read about our detoxification process itself, please scroll down and begin reading at the section titled About Our Bath Salts Detox Program. Otherwise, please continue to read on. The best of luck to you, but with help from The Haven, luck is something you may not need!
What are Bath Salts?
Again, we are not talking about sweet-smelling bathtub additives. Bath salts, when referring to drugs, cover a wide array of designer drugs. Because the packaging describes the product as a bath salt, and the label says “Not for Human Consumption,” legal sale of designer drugs still happens nationwide. There was a spike in sales around 2010, but the sale and abuse of bath salts is still a very real problem.
From here on, the term ‘bath salt(s)’ will only reference the drug. Most bath salts contain a cathinone, which is essentially a naturally-occurring amphetamine found in the khat shrub. Amphetamines are very potent nervous system stimulants used to treat narcolepsy, among other disorders.
Abusers of bath salts buy them in a store, and consume them in one of many ways: ingestion, snorting, smoking, or even injection. Like all designer drugs, which are created in order to avoid illegal status and pose as other substances, there is no real way to tell exactly what will happen to individuals who abuse them. Little to no testing has been done on bath salt abuse in humans.
Signs of Bath Salt Abuse
Seeing the signs of bath salt abuse can be a little bit tricky, only because the majority of the symptoms of abuse are internal. However, on the contrary, some of the symptoms are rather easy to notice.
Legal sale of bath salts was highest between 2001 and 2005, but because bath salts continue to be sold legally in some cases, and are labelled as other products, the mere possession of it does not necessarily signify abuse. However, there are some names to look out for specifically, sort of slang terms/brand names for bath salts. They include Blue Silk, Ivory Wave, Lunar Wave, Purple Wave, Cloud Nine, Wake Up, and Drone, but there are dozens if not hundreds more.
The following is a list of signs of bath salt abuse. Again, some are internal for the user only, and may not be recognizable, but others are obvious. When it comes to recognizing bath salt abuse, the primary sign is erratic behavior. If someone you suspect is a bath salt abuser is ever acting highly irrationally, first of all get yourself safe and second of all, call 911 as this person is likely on the substance right now, and his or her behavior is unpredictable.
Signs of bath salt abuse include:
- Abnormally high energy levels
- Extreme agitation
- Extreme confusion
- Body temperature fluctuation
- Significantly decreased appetite
- Kidney pain
- Muscle tension
- High blood pressure
- Nausea and/or vomiting
- Unprovoked violence
- Erratic, irrational behavior
Risks of Bath Salt Abuse
April of 2011: Army Medic David Stewart, age 38, kills his five-year-old son by strangling him, and then shoots and kills his wife and then himself. He was on bath salts at the time.
October of 2015: Travis Bonham, age 31, shoots both his girlfriend and his own mother and then leaves the house still holding the gun. He was on bath salts.
July of 2011: Johnny Salazar, while at home with his two young boys, sees his five-year-old touching a bible and assumes the boy has become possessed by the devil. Can you guess what Johnny was on?
Other instances of erratic, sometimes violent behavior on bath salts include biting a cop car upon arrest, stabbing a goat to death, and even eating a pet dog. It’s difficult to read this, surely, but it’s a reality. In 2013, nearly 25,000 trips to the emergency room were related to bath salt abuse in the US. An official death count is not available, but it’s safe to say thousands have died, whether due to physical effects of the drug or risky behavior due to the drug.
The risks of bath salt abuse include:
- Heart palpitations
- Acute headaches
- Heart attack
- Liver failure
- Suicidal thoughts or tendencies
- Unusually high pain tolerance
Please note that the abuse of bath salts causes such disconnect from reality that the user may not even fully be aware of the violent or suicidal behavior he or she is engaging in. The delusions are extremely strong.
Recognizing Bath Salt Abuse & Stepping In
It bears repeating that it is possible for someone to purchase bath salts (the drug) thinking it was bath salts (the product). Also, bath salts aren’t just disguised as bathtub additives. The drug has been marketed as plant food, tobacco pipe cleaner, and even as potpourri. Regardless, if you see a package and you absolutely know that product is actually a designer drug, now may be the time to step in, intervene, and being the process of helping… especially if you already suspect abuse.
Of course you can step in and help yourself too. With bath salts, as with most substances, abuse soon leads to addiction. However, regardless of whether we’re talking about bath salt abuse or bath salt addiction, it’s dangerous, it’s unregulated, and it can literally make you a murderer! What high could possibly be worth that?
Stepping in and intervening when it comes to someone we know has a problem is never an easy thing to do. We love these people, and we do not want to hurt them, but we love them enough to know they are hurting themselves, and perhaps at a deadly rate. In such extreme cases, professional intervention is recommended. When it comes to simply trying to help someone you love, keep these tips in mind:
- Do not call the person an addict or even accuse them of being a bath salt user.
- Do not demand the person seeks help. Simply state your concerns.
- Encourage the possibility of help, but do not be forceful.
- Maintain the rapport you already have with the person. Acting differently will likely arouse suspicion.
Withdrawal from Bath Salts
Because of the odd nature of bath salts, (a recreational drug that is extremely dangerous and potent, but also legal and different with every ‘brand’), less is known about the withdrawal process than for other drugs. However, we do know that bath salts act as amphetamines, mocking the effects of meth and/or cocaine, and the withdrawal process is relatively similar.
Remember this, though: any pain or discomfort felt along the path to recovery will be forgotten about once the bliss of sobriety and normal living comes rushing in. Any struggle at this point along the path is well worth the normalcy and stability of a life without abusing bath salts.
What follows is a list of bath salt withdrawal symptoms, but please be aware that with help from us here at The Haven, not only can most of these be avoided, but all of them can be helped. As you read this list of symptoms, be aware that quitting without the assistance of professional treatment puts you much more at risk than quitting with the proper help.
Bath salt withdrawal symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Restlessness and/or mild insomnia
- Tremors and/or mild convulsions
To reiterate, these symptoms are much more likely to occur, and much more likely to be worse, if an addict stops using without help. The Haven can provide all of the help necessary for a bath salt addict to begin the path to recovery, and the right way. The first step, as mentioned, is detoxification, commonly called detox, which SAFELY and effectively REMOVES all traces of the designer drug from the body, (as well as any other illicit substance). If there is indeed a manual on how to provide detox from bath salts, and we here at The Haven may well have written it.
About Our Bath Salts Detox Program
Bath salt detoxification involves providing intensive medical monitoring and attention to address the specific symptoms of the individual. It also often involves using medication to alleviate the agitation and other emotional symptoms of intoxication. Since it’s a designer drug, and less is known about the pharmacology than with other drugs, it’s important to cater a bath salt detox program to an individual specifically. The primary goals for the treatment of bath salt addiction are abstinence, relapse prevention, and rehabilitation.
Drug Detox for Bath Salts
Bath salts can be extremely addictive and very hard to stop using on one’s own, especially in severe cases. Therefore, most people dealing with this addiction need to spend a good amount of time in a bath salt detox facility. The amount of detoxification time needed for each person will vary based on the severity of the addiction. It’s often in the patient’s best interest to spend as much time as possible in a detoxification center for their bath salt addiction, especially since the availability of bath salt is unusually wide.
Helping Bath Salt Addicts
It can be horrible to watch someone you love struggle with an addiction, especially one as unsettling as a bath salt addiction. If someone you love is addicted to bath salts, you can help by getting them information on treatment options, plenty of which are offered by The Haven. You could also plan an intervention, which we can assist with. An intervention is an effective way to let them know you care while also telling them they need help.
Bath salts are scary. They’re designer drugs with no ingredient list that users take home and basically use to experiment on themselves. Maybe sometimes you get high, but other times you kill your parents. Sorry to be so blunt, but do the research! People do absolutely insane things on bath salts.
Seriously, if you or someone you know is in ANY danger of becoming a bath salt abuser or worse yet, addict, seek help from us here at The Haven today. We know how to make this necessary process go as smoothly as possible.