Bath salts are a dangerous substance that falls in a category of drugs called synthetic cathinones. Synthetic cathinones are similar to the khat plant (a shrub found in East Africa and Southern Arabia), a naturally occurring stimulant. Synthetic cathinones are also commonly found in MDMA (molly) because they are cheaper and have similar effects. The bath salts that became popular in the US contain MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone). MDPV is labeled “Not for Human Consumption” and sold in stores as cleaning/hygienic products and plant food in the late 2000s. In 2011, President Barack Obama signed a law into place to ban methadone and methylphenidate. Bath salts are listed as a Schedule I drug by the DEA. Schedule I drugs have no currently accepted medical use and have a high potential for abuse. These drugs cannot be sold under any circumstances and cannot be prescribed for medical use.
What Do Bath Salts Do to You?
Bath salts are very dangerous. High doses of this substance can lead to serious behavioral and psychiatric effects such as confusion, agitation, paranoia, psychosis, insomnia, irritability, and violent behavior. The most common signs of toxicity are agitation, tachycardia, and delusions or hallucinations. You don’t hear many cases about bath salts these days; however, I’m sure people still consume them. If you know of someone using this “Not Made for Human Consumption,” please get them to help immediately.
More About Bath Salts and Designer Drugs
Bath salts are usually snorted but can also be injected, smoked, or swallowed. If ingested orally, the absorption is rapid, with a peak rush at about 1.5 hours and the effects lasting up to 3 to 4 hours. Users will then experience a hard crash. The total experience can last up to 8 hours. Bath salts are strong central nervous system stimulants that cause a flood of dopamine and norepinephrine to be released when they are consumed. The National Institute of Health Life sciences “Bath salts and synthetic cathinones: An emerging designer drug phenomenon” says:
Designer drugs are synthetic compounds developed to provide rewarding effects similar to illicit drugs of abuse (e.g., opioids, amphetamines, and marijuana) while circumventing existing legislative classification and penalty. Recently, designer drug mixtures have been marketed and sold as ‘legal highs’ over the internet and in head shops worldwide. The synthetic cathinones are one of the most prevalent classes of compounds found in these products, frequently sold as ‘bath salts’ or ‘fertilizer’ despite having no such purposes and are insufflated (snorted), ingested, or injected by users seeking psychostimulant effects similar to cocaine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) or other amphetamines. Possession, use, and synthesis of the synthetic cathinones was legal until their emergency schedule I classification in 2011 followed by permanent schedule I classification in the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012 (Drug Enforcement Administration, 2011). Schedule I classification will undoubtedly reduce access to and consumption of synthetic cathinones, but will also limit research on these relatively unstudied compounds to a very small number of laboratories and institutions that have been licensed to work with schedule I drugs. (NIH)
Sign, Symptoms, and Side Effects of Bath Salts Use
Bath salts are known to produce a high similar to what methamphetamines produce. Some of the effects can include:
- Increased wakefulness and concentration
- Elevated sex drive
- A rush
Bath salts can produce some acute side effects that consist of:
- Excess sweating
- Pupil dilation
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Reduced appetite
- Elevated body temperature
- Muscle tremors
- Vessel constriction
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