Bath salts are simply a collection of chemical designer drugs made from a variety of salts that have been synthesized and/or chemically enhanced for medical purposes. The term derives from ancient cases where the medications were disguised as bath salts instead of the more familiar lavender, Rosemary, or chamomile bath products. The bath salts, often white powders, crystals, or flakes, often resemble Epsom salts only in chemical composition. While bath salts and body scrubs may have evolved from their traditional healing roots, modern uses now span a broad spectrum and include everything from skin exfoliation to bath foam facials and even hair dye.
Many of today’s bath salt products contain cathinones, designer drugs that mimic the effects of estrogen in humans. This has caused concerns among medical professionals because of the known carcinogenic properties of cathinones. The most commonly found cathinone, the testerone form, is not sold over the counter and must be ordered from a physician.
Some bath salts abuse, like many other substances found in our homes and workplaces, are meant to be consumed on a short-term basis. This would include bath products intended to be used for a tan or body scrub, hair styling products, bath soaks, and many other novelty products. Others are intended to be taken orally, usually in the form of a pill. Unfortunately, these pills are designed to work fast, often without consumers noticing or comprehending significant toxicity or other negative side effects. This is not the case with bath salts, which can be used over extended periods of time with little or no noticeable consequences.
Because bath salts may also contain high levels of caffeine or amphetamines, users may experience an increased energy level, a racing heart beat, or enhanced alertness. Depending on the strength of the drug purchased, bath products containing these types of stimulants may make a person feel highly alert and awake for a longer period of time, allowing them to drive or operate heavier machinery. However, these same drugs can cause hallucinations, seizures, and even coma and death in extreme cases.
Other common effects of long-term bath use include irritability, anxiety, depression, paranoia, and tremors. These individuals may also experience sweating, blushing, tingling, difficulty breathing, and an increase in appetite. If someone uses too much bath salt, they may experience confusion, memory loss, slow reaction time, or seizures. It is important to remember that these are only some of the side effects that may be experienced by those who abuse this substance. More serious side effects could result if the abuse continues.
One of the dangers of taking in too much of these products is that they can affect the brain, especially if the individual is addicted. When this happens, the person’s mental abilities will begin to function at a much lower level. This can cause severe changes in behavior and can even lead to psychosis. This is because of the intense euphoria created by amphetamine-like effects of bath products. In the case of taking in too much of these products, the effects of the drug will become so intense, causing a person to behave normally but with no memory of what happened.
Another reason why it is very important to be careful when using bath salts is due to the possibility of sudden weight loss. Some individuals may take these products in order to lose extra weight, which is commonly known as “binge drinking.” For this reason, it can be dangerous to let your loved one consume bath products in large amounts. If they take in a large amount, it is possible to lose a significant amount of weight very quickly, which can lead to extreme health problems.
Not all artificial cathinones are dangerous, however. It should be noted that bath salts and other synthetic cathinones are not the same as “bath salts,” which is a slang term for heroin. These two substances are very different, and they should never be mixed. If your loved one is experiencing a pressing medical problem, it may be best to seek professional help from a physician. Do not attempt to self-medicate or abuse prescription drugs.