Causes & Effects of Bath Salt Addiction

Understanding Bath Salts Addiction

Learn about bath salts addiction and abuse

The term ͞bath salts͟ is a common slang term for synthetic cathinones. These are lab-created drugs that are structurally similar to cathinone, a stimulant-like substance that occurs naturally within the khat plant.

Bath salts got their name due to how they have been marketed and sold, in an attempt to evade laws and avoid regulation. While the name sounds harmless, these substances can pose significant risk to your health and well-being.

The ingredients in bath salts can vary widely, which makes it difficult to predict their effects. In general, bath salts often cause euphoria, loss of inhibition, hallucinations, and delirium. Bath salt use can also lead to dissociation, agitation, and extreme violence. Depending upon their chemical makeup, they can also be addictive.

Anyone who abuses or becomes addicted to bath salts may need comprehensive professional treatment. With appropriate care, you can regain control of your life, end your involvement with bath salts, and pursue a much healthier future.


Bath salt addiction statistics

The following statistics were collected by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC):

  • About 0.5% of high school students report having used bath salts in the past year. (NIDA)
  • Between January 1, 2010, and July 30, 2013, exposure to bath salts resulted in 9,702 calls to poison control centers. (AAPCC)
  • Bath salt use appears to be most common among young adults ages 20-29. (NIDA)
  • Calls to poison control centers related to bath salts exposure involved children as young as 6 and adults as old as 59. (AAPCC)

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for cocaine addiction

Your risk for abusing or becoming dependent upon bath salts can be influenced by several factors, including the following:

  • Family history of mental illness or substance abuse
  • Personal history of mental illness or prior substance abuse
  • Associating with peers who abuse bath salts
  • Having a novelty-seeking personality
  • Poor impulse control

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of bath salts addiction

A person who has been abusing bath salts may display the following signs and symptoms:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Acting with uncharacteristic violence
  • Rapid, excessive talking
  • Changes in eating habits
  • Self-harm

Physical symptoms:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Increased energy
  • Impaired coordination
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Insomnia

Mental symptoms:

  • Euphoria
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
  • Dramatic mood swings
  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions


Effects of bath salts addiction

Untreated abuse of bath salts can lead to a wide range of problems, including the following negative effects:

  • Physical injury due to actions while under the influence of bath salts
  • Self-harm
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Hypertension
  • Heart attack
  • Onset or worsening of mental illness
  • Arrest, incarceration, and other legal problems
  • Strained or ruined interpersonal relationships
  • Substandard performance in school or at work
  • Financial problems
  • Job loss and chronic unemployment
  • Social withdrawal and isolation
  • Suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Homicidal thoughts and actions

Dual Diagnosis

Bath salt addiction and dual diagnosis

Addiction is often accompanied by other mental or behavioral health disorders. One of the most common clinical terms for multiple disorders is dual diagnosis. If you have abused or become addicted to bath salts, you may also have a heightened risk for the following:

  • Other substance use disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Depression

Many people don’t realize they need dual diagnosis services until they enter a program. This is why it’s important to get help for bath salt addiction at a center that offers thorough assessments and, if necessary, comprehensive care for dual diagnosis. Receiving proper dual diagnosis services can be an essential part of your journey toward recovery from bath salt addiction.

Withdrawal and Overdose

Effects of cocaine withdrawal and overdose

Effects of bath salts withdrawal: If you try to stop using bath salts after you have become addicted, you may experience a variety of distressing withdrawal symptoms, such as the following:

  • Powerful cravings for bath salts
  • Muscle tics, twitching, or tremors
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Anxiety and agitation
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

Effects of bath salts overdose: Anyone who exhibits the following signs after using bath salts may have overdosed, and needs immediate medical attention:

  • Dangerously high body temperature
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Delirium
  • Psychosis
  • Convulsions
  • Seizure
  • Coma


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