Bath Salts Abuse: Effects, Signs & Symptoms

Bath salts are a potent group of street drugs with a known ability to produce addiction and other serious health problems. If you or your loved one have symptoms related to the use of these drugs, treatment is available. Take the first steps toward informed, effective treatment by familiarizing yourself with the most crucial topics for anyone on the road to recovery.

Symptoms and Side Effects of Bath Salts Abuse

Bath salts contain extremely addictive main ingredients called synthetic cathinones1. Chemicals in this group are designed to resemble the active ingredient in khat, a shrub with leaves that produce a stimulant effect when chewed. The chemical structure of synthetic cathinones also resembles the structure of two well-known stimulants of abuse: amphetamine and methamphetamine. For these reasons, people addicted to bath salts develop symptoms similar to those found in cases of stimulant use disorder2.

If you have a bath salt addiction or take part in bath salt abuse, symptoms to look for include:

  • An inability to set limits on how much of these substances you consume
  • An inability to set limits on how often you use these substances
  • Continued use of bath salts after they produce clear harm to your physical or mental health
  • Powerful cravings for bath salts when not actively consuming them
  • Increasing tolerance to synthetic cathinones’ stimulating effects
  • Repeatedly participating in risky behaviors (e.g., driving or having sex) while under the influence of bath salts
  • Continued use of these substances despite clear objections from friends or loved ones
  • A bath salt-related inability to meet your social or personal obligations
  • An inability to stop consuming these substances despite multiple attempts
  • Leaving behind once-favored activities for the sake of bath salt intake

Behavioral Signs of Bath Salts Abuse

You may also notice other signs of problematic bath salt use3, including:

  • Paranoid behavior
  • Unexplained bouts of panic
  • Heightened sexual urges
  • Sensory hallucinations
  • Psychosis (i.e., combined hallucinations and delusional thoughts)
  • A state called excited delirium, marked by acts of violence and intense physical/mental agitation

Excited delirium may also lead to other problems such as dehydration and a dangerous condition known as rhabdomyolysis. People affected by rhabdomyolysis experience extensive failure of their skeletal muscles, which in turn release toxins that can trigger kidney damage or complete kidney failure. No one can say for sure what specific substances are found in any given batch of bath salts. This means that you may also develop other unexpected or unpredictable health problems, even if you don’t develop a synthetic cathinone addiction.

Reach Out For Help

We provide holistic care and treatment using an individualized approach specifically tailored to your needs. Secondly, we help you lead a healthy, substance-free life with adaptive coping and problem-solving skills. Contact us today for more information on our certified staff of professionals, as well as our first-rate facilities.

  1. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime: Synthetic Cathinones
  2. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: Substance Use Disorders
  3. National Institute on Drug Abuse: Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”)
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