Battling addiction and ready for treatment?
What Are Bath Salts?
Bath salts are human-made stimulants chemically similar to cathinone found in the khat plant native to East Africa and southern Arabia.
While the khat plant’s leaves provide mild stimulant effects when chewed, lab-made cathinone is much stronger and, in some cases, very dangerous.
Bath salts are synthetic stimulants made in labs, their formulas constantly changing to avoid the laws that ban their creation and distribution. Because of their powerful stimulant effect, bath salts can be highly addictive and require rehab treatment to quit abuse.
To avoid laws and regulations, synthetic cathinones are often labeled as bath salts, plant food, jewelry cleaner, or phone screen cleaner.
Bath salts are typically sold as white or brown crystal-like powder in plastic or foil packages labeled “not for human consumption.” They get their name from their resemblance to Epsom salts.
Why Are Bath Salts So Addictive?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), certain strains of bath salts affect the brain similar to cocaine, but at least ten times more intensely. Due to their potency, bath salts can cause significant health problems, including organ damage, stroke, and seizures.
Like other stimulants such as amphetamines and MDMA, bath salts provide feelings of euphoria, delirium, and intense happiness and excitement.
Each dose of bath salts activates the brain’s reward center, flooding the brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. Over time, dependence and addiction to these effects can form, requiring addiction treatment to break the cycle of addiction.
Bath Salts Addiction Treatment Programs
Thankfully, many treatment options help with bath salts abuse and addiction. From inpatient and outpatient rehab to medical detox and therapy options, addiction specialists can help determine the ideal treatment path for each patient.
Finding the right treatment will depend on age, background, mental health history, commitment to sobriety, and support system.
Inpatient Rehab for Bath Salts Addiction
Inpatient rehab is ideal for individuals with severe bath salts addiction that lack a stable support system outside of treatment or are at very high risk of relapsing should they go home after treatment each day.
Inpatient treatment is also ideal for someone with a pre-diagnosed substance use disorder or who is dealing with polysubstance abuse (i.e., using more than just bath salts).
Inpatient treatment includes residential stays, providing a safe place for patients to get care and support while avoiding relapse.
Having a secure place to live during treatment while surrounded by medical staff and other people in recovery can provide structure and support that the recovering addict might not find elsewhere.
If a patient requires medical detoxification from bath salts, inpatient treatment ensures they are under medical supervision 24/7 in case of issues.
Outpatient Rehab for Bath Salts Addiction
Many bath salt addicts thrive in outpatient rehab, often called Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP). An IOP does not include a residential stay; the patient can go home daily after treatment.
In many cases, outpatient care is suitable for someone seeking addiction treatment.
The outpatient option is ideal for addicts whose bath salts abuse is less severe and has a strong outside support system.
Patients can still receive medical detox during outpatient treatment through a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), which provides detox and medical supervision but doesn’t require a residential stay.
Additional Bath Salts Addiction Treatment Options
Bath salt addiction treatment isn’t reserved for only rehab treatment services. In addition to the traditional rehab options, other treatment options are available alone or supplemental to rehab.
These additional treatment options may sometimes be recommended for long-term care or continuing care after rehab treatment.
Medical detox typically includes the management of withdrawal symptoms and health issues that may arise when quitting bath salts.
Unfortunately, once you develop a physical dependence on bath salts, quitting the drug can trigger a number of unpleasant and potentially dangerous withdrawal symptoms.
Common symptoms of bath salts withdrawal include:
- Powerful cravings for bath salts
- Anxiety and depression
- Panic attacks
- Poor concentration
- Muscle spasms
- Rapid heart rate
- Paranoia and agitation
Not all bath salts users will require medical detox. Your physician or addiction specialist can help you determine if you’ll need medical detox as part of your bath salts addiction treatment.
Medication-Assisted Therapy for Bath Salts
While there are no FDA-approved medications for bath salts addiction, many healthcare providers have prescribed benzodiazepines to help treat withdrawal symptoms. The antidepressant Remeron has also shown promising signs of helping with stimulant withdrawal.
Benzodiazepines are often only used during initial withdrawal during detox, although they are sometimes used after rehab to manage ongoing mental health symptoms. Remeron may also be used after treatment to help with mental health concerns.
Therapy and Behavioral Health
Therapy is an important part of any treatment option, usually through one-on-one and group therapy sessions.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) in particular is favored for addiction treatment, as it helps patients learn to identify negative thought patterns that lead to drug use.
Other psychotherapies like dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) have been shown to help people manage the ups and downs of life without turning to drug abuse.
For addicts with co-occurring mental illnesses, therapy is essential for symptom management and weathering difficulties. Because of this, many people will continue therapy well after treatment as part of their drug addiction treatment aftercare.
Bath Salts Support Groups
Support groups are a great resource for addicts to connect with others undergoing treatment or in active recovery. Peer support can help patients feel less alone while going through treatment and create a sense of accountability after treatment.
Support groups that provide support for bath salts addicts include:
Bath Salts Rehab Aftercare
Aftercare refers to any continuing care that takes place after treatment to help maintain sobriety. Having an aftercare plan in place after formal treatment ends can help prevent relapse and continue the improvements gained in treatment.
For bath salt addiction, this can include therapy, support groups, sober living, and treatment for co-occurring mental health conditions.
By keeping up with aftercare, addicts are less likely to relapse and can build a support system if they don’t have family and friends to support them through recovery.
How Do Bath Salts Affect the Body?
While bath salts can produce effects similar to cocaine, MDMA (molly), and methamphetamine, they can be more dangerous due to their synthetic nature.
Bath salts are typically made in labs with ever-changing formulas to get around legislation like the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act of 2012. As a result, law enforcement struggles to find and confiscate this dangerous drug since it is always being updated.
Short-Term Side Effects of Bath Salts
Even the short-term effects of bath salts can easily lead to dangerous side effects or a visit to the ER, especially when taken with other drugs or alcohol.
Common short-term effects of bath salts include:
- Increased friendliness and sex drive
- Chest pain
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Hallucinations and paranoia
Long-Term Side Effects of Bath Salts
When abusing bath salts long-term, serious and even permanent damage can be done to the body and mind. The sooner
Common long-term effects of bath salts include:
- Mental health issues
- Suicidal thoughts
- Osteodynia (bone pain)
- Liver damage
- Kidney failure
- Heart attack
Find a Rehab Center for Bath Salts Addiction Nearby
If you or a loved one is living with an addiction to bath salts and are ready to enter treatment, there are many options available based on your unique needs.
While the journey to sobriety isn’t easy, recovering from bath salts addiction is possible with the right treatment facility.
FAQs About Bath Salts Rehab
What are bath salts made of?
Like many “designer drugs,” bath salts are made in a lab and come in many different formulas to evade government regulations. Bath salts are synthetic cathinones, which are chemically related to the cathinones found in the khat plant native to East Africa and southern Arabia.
Should you go to rehab for bath salts addiction?
Yes. When left untreated, bath salt addiction can lead to negative health outcomes, permanent damage, overdose, and even death. While bath salts are similar to stimulant drugs like cocaine, MDMA, and meth, their synthetic nature makes them more potent and dangerous.
What is a common side effect of using bath salts?
Bath salts are stimulants, typically causing feelings of euphoria, excited delirium, and psychosis. However, these effects often come with a number of negative effects as well.
Common side effects of bath salt use include:
- High blood pressure
- Elevated heart rate
- Chest pain
- Hallucinations, paranoia, and psychosis
What is the average cost of rehab treatment for bath salts addiction?
Rehab treatment costs for bath salts addiction can vary depending on a few factors. First, the cost will depend on the treatment center and its services.
Second, whether or not you have health insurance and if your policy covers addiction treatment may impact what you would be expected to pay.