The Truth About Bath Salts – Effects and Risks
Table of Contents
What are Bath Salts?
Bath Salts are the common name for synthetic drugs which derive from cathinone, a typically much stronger and significantly more dangerous substance than its naturally occurring counterpart, Catha edulis (khat).
Bath salts have a wide variety of street names, and are sold legally in packages labelled “not intended for human use”, etc. Bath salts are chemically similar to stimulants such as cocaine, MDMA, and amphetamines, although significantly more powerful both in experiential effect and effects on the brain and body.
What are Bath Salts used for?
People use Bath Salts with the intent of experiencing an energised “high” similar to other stimulant drugs. Bath salts are less expensive and more readily available than other illegal stimulants, mainly because they are made with any one of a number of highly inexpensive and frequently toxic additives.
What are the Side Effects of Using Bath Salts?
There is a wide range of side effects that can occur with Bath Salts, some of which can be fatal. Less severe signs that someone is using Bath Salts include:
- Increased sex drive
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Lowered inhibitions
- Excess energy
Serious Signs of Bath Salt Abuse:
- Psychosis such as visual, auditory, or tactile hallucinations
- Panic and anxiety
- Increased sociability and decreased inhibitions
- Severe mood changes such as increased anxiety or depression
- Aggressive, agitated or violent behaviour
Individuals who have used bath salts may also demonstrate particularly bizarre behaviour, such as speaking in non-recognisable utterances and seeming oblivious to external stimuli.
Bath salt use has also resulted in direct and indirect death to users due to suicide or impairments of Bath Salt intoxication.
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Bath Salts Abuse Health Risks
Bath Salts have severe health risks for users. The less severe health effects include nausea, sweating, and nosebleeds. More serious health risks include the risks associated with confusion, delirium, decreased inhibition, and impaired decision-making abilities. Permanent brain damage, permanent mood changes, insomnia, psychosis, damage to major body organs, and death are all health risks of Bath Salt use. Bath Salts are also highly addictive and their use is associated with intense future cravings.
Bath Salts Withdrawal Symptoms
Bath Salts are highly physiologically and psychologically addictive. Withdrawal symptoms may include mood changes such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, panic, agitation, and suicidal thinking or behaviours. Physical symptoms may include tremors and sleep disturbance. Intense cravings for additional substances frequently accompany withdrawal. Persons may also demonstrate additional bizarre behaviour as a result of paranoia and psychosis.
Rehab for Bath Salt Addiction at Castle Craig
Bath Salt addiction can have devastating consequences for individuals and their loved ones. The expert treatment professionals at Castle Craig help individuals with bath salt addiction safely recover from the immediate effects of use while providing a supportive and therapeutic environment in which to create personalised plans for long-term and successful recovery.
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Medical Assessment and Detox for Bath Salt Addiction
There is very little information available in scientific/medical literature about treatment for people who abuse or are dependent upon Bath Salts and very little is known about their metabolism within the body. Most new types of Bath Salts cannot be detected with urine or blood tests alone.
On admission a patient receives a urine and blood test to determine their overall well-being, the extent of kidney function/damage and evidence of muscle breakdown. We take a clinical history and ask the patient and their family to cooperate with the doctors and reveal what substances, including Bath Salts, the patient has been taking. Our doctors medically assess the patient to observe their vital physical signs: alertness, pupillary size, heart rate, and blood pressure; all of these things can help to form an assessment of the type of substance they may have taken.
Once the patient is stable we monitor them for signs of Bath Salts and drug withdrawal and treat these symptoms accordingly. We have an experienced medical and nursing team who help patients through the detoxification process at Castle Craig Hospital, and they are given 24/7 medical coverage and all the support they need.
Our Therapeutic Programme for Bath Salts Addiction
As well as detox from Bath Salts, 12 Step therapy and other psychotherapies including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and EMDR are used to help change negative thoughts, attitudes and behaviours that block recovery, and treat the root cause of the Bath Salts addiction. Patients are taught relapse prevention and family members also receive therapy sessions. Visit our treatment section to find out more information about drug rehabilitation at Castle Craig.
How Can Castle Craig Help?
How Do I Pay For Rehab?
One concern we sometimes hear from people is how they will fund their rehab treatment. The cost of rehab varies depending on what kind of accommodation you choose. You can pay for treatment at Castle Craig privately, or through medical insurance, and some people receive funding through the NHS.
How Long Is the Rehab Programme?
Residential rehab treatment starts at four weeks and can go up to 12+ weeks. Research shows us that the longer you stay in rehab and are part of the residential therapy programme, the longer the likelihood of continued abstinence and stable recovery.
Who Will I Speak to When I Call?
When you call you will reach our Help Centre team who will give you all the information you need to help you decide whether to choose treatment at Castle Craig. Once you have decided that you would like to have a free screening assessment you will be put in touch with our admissions case managers who will guide you through the admissions process.
What Happens at the End of My Treatment?
Castle Craig thoroughly prepares patients before departure by creating a personalised continuing care plan which is formulated following discussions with the medical and therapeutic team. We offer an online continuing care programme which runs for 24 weeks after leaving treatment, in order to ensure a smooth transition back into your everyday life. Patients leaving treatment automatically join our Recovery Club where they can stay connected via our annual reunion, events, online workshops and recovery newsletters.