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Bath Salts are a very new and scary recreational drug fad which you may have seen in the headlines in recent months. The term Bath Salts is very misleading, which is intentional and part of the scheme to lure in new users. The drug Bath Salts has nothing to do with aromatic and luxurious salts used to take a bath, but rather are various synthetic compounds sold under this name which act as a type of stimulant drug which also has some psychoactive properties as well. Bath Salts are sometimes sold in stores which sell drug paraphernalia, but they can also be purchased online through a variety of websites which sell these types of products. The typical profile of someone who uses Bath Salts appears to be individuals who are between 20 and 29 years old. However, there are reports of exposure to these drugs reflected in Poison Control Center calls from individuals younger than 6 to older than 59.
Bath Salts are relatively new to the drug scene, and little is known about their short or long term effects and these may vary depending on the chemical composition of any one batch. It is known however that Bath Salts are known to induce psychotic behavior, and these dangerous drugs pose serious dangers to one's health and the safety of the user and the public in general. Despite their unassuming name, Bath Salts are also extremely addictive and individuals who begin abusing these drugs will typically continue use because of intense cravings; much like someone who is addicted to methamphetamine or cocaine.
Bath Salts act as a stimulant drug because most of these products contain various amphetamine-like chemicals. One of these amphetamine-like substances is called Mepherdone, and has been associated with extremely high risks of overdose. Bath Salts are such an affective stimulant, that some recreational drug users take them in place of other stimulant drugs such as cocaine. Much like any other drug of abuse, Bath Salts can be taken orally, snorted, smoked or injected. Injecting Bath Salts intravenously results in an almost immediate and intense high, and is known to result in the worst outcomes because it is going directly into the bloodstream. Therefore, intravenous users of the drug often experience the most severe psychotic effects of the drug and are at the highest risk of overdose.
One of the reasons Bath Salts present such serious risks and dangers to users is because little is known about their true ingredients. The contents of any one batch of Bath Salts can vary, and users therefore have absolutely no idea what they are putting into their bodies. No matter how the drug is being administered, putting these toxic and dangerous drugs and unknown compounds into one's system is a like playing Russian roulette with one's life. Bath Salts have been responsible for many disturbing ER visits since they appeared on the drug scene, and individuals who show up in hospitals having overdosed typically experience extremely high heart rate and blood pressure, as well as psychotic behavior including extreme paranoia, hallucinations and delusions. There were over 6,100 such visits in 2011. To reinforce the apparent and real dangers associated with these drugs, just last year there were 2,655 calls made to Poison Control centers regarding exposure to Bath Salts. Because of the serious risks involved with taking Bath Salts, states across the nation are taking measures to legally ban Bath Salts, 38 of which have succeeded in doing so.
While Bath Salts may seem appealing to young users as well as both new and long term recreational drug users, these seriously dangerous drugs should be avoided at all costs. Some people simply don't come back from a Bath Salts induced psychosis, and the ones that do have been known experience long-term physical and psychological side effects which greatly impact their quality of life. In short, they are never the same. This is an unfortunate circumstance but one which can be avoided if individuals understand the dangers associated with these powerful drugs.
Parents in particular should take note of any changes in mood or behavior that their children may display, and should never hesitate to inquire about recreational drug use in school or otherwise. Because many youth do in fact experiment with drugs during this time, long term consequences can be avoided and their futures preserved if parents are involved and help prevent their children from using destructive drugs such as Bath Salts. It is sometimes necessary to consult with or have your child see a guidance counselor or professional treatment counselor to ensure nothing is being held back, as youth are sometimes hesitant to tell their parents what they may tell a mental health or treatment professional.
If someone has taken Bath Salts and is experiencing shortness of breath, seizures, or is unconscious it is very important that someone dial 911 and get the individual immediate medical attention. Medical professionals have a better idea at this point as to what to expect and how to go about treating a Bath Salt overdose, although it is very often a touch and go situation depending on how much the individual has taken and their level of psychosis, etc. Once the individual has been stabilized, which may take days in some cases, it is often recommended that they seek proper treatment in a drug rehab facility to avoid any future drug use and other serious circumstances such as overdose.
It is not uncommon for someone who has become addicted to Bath Salts to need to remain in an inpatient or residential drug rehab program for several weeks. It can take weeks just to overcome the physical and psychological cravings the individuals will have for the drug, and to stabilize them after having likely experienced severe side effects from the drug. It is important that every aspect of their dependence and addiction is addressed, so that there is no chance of relapse when they leave drug rehab; because any type of relapse can lead to far more serious consequences.
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