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Risks of Bath Salts Abuse: Withdrawal and Detox

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to bath salts you know how difficult the decision to quit can be. You may have questions about the recoveryprocess or you may feel afraid to try again after struggling to quit in the past. Arming yourself with the correct knowledge about bath salts addiction and recovery is one of your best tools for beginning your fight against your addiction. Here is everything you need to know about bath salts addiction and detox.

Addiction to Bath Salts

Not to be confused with the bath product, bath salts drugs are a manufactured synthetic compound used to mimic the effects of cathinone, a mild stimulant extracted from the khat plant. Natural cathinone typically has mild effects on users, but the synthetic versions comprised in bath salts drugs are generally much stronger, unpredictable and are known to have adverse side effects. Users of bath salts may experience a high similar to that of cocaine, meth or ecstasy and it can be ingested through snorting, smoking, swallowing or injecting. Bath salts are different from other illicit drugs due to the fact that be purchased from local convenience stores making avoiding them difficult.

Using bath salts repeatedly or on a regular basis can lead to addiction. Recent studies show that bath salts are more addictive than crystal meth. Repeated use results in the need to increase the dosage in order to obtain the same high. Repeated use can also disrupt the pleasure pathways in the brain resulting in increased dopamine production which is the chemical component responsible for euphoria. When these pathways are disrupted it can create a physical and psychological dependence on the drug to feel normal. While everyone experiences addiction to bath salts differently, some common symptoms are:

  • Compulsive use of bath salts
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Using bath salts taking precedence over work, school and other obligations
  • Needing to increase the dosage in order to get high
  • Engaging in risky behavior to obtain bath salts

If you or a loved one is currently experiencing any of the above symptoms, you may want to consider discussing bath salts detox and treatment with a qualified addiction specialist.

Bath Salts Withdrawal

Withdrawal occurs when you have become physically dependent on bath salts and you stop taking it. As stated before, bath salts flood the brain with dopamine, causing you to feel euphoric and calm. But as the amount of the drug begins to decrease in your bloodstream so does the amount of dopamine in your brain. Because your brain has been dependent on bath salts for the production of dopamine, it will take some time for your brain to begin producing dopamine on its own and at a normal rate. With the decrease in dopamine, you may begin to feel physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms that can make you feel ill and not yourself.

Bath Salts Withdrawal Symptoms

The severity of withdrawal symptoms when quitting bath salts will depend on the level of addiction and how long a person has been using. Individuals who have been using longer or taking higher doses may have more severe symptoms than individuals who have been using for a short period of time or using minimal amounts. Bath salts withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Increased desire to use bath salts
  • Fatigue
  • Digestive issues including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
  • Mood swings
  • Trouble sleeping and insomnia
  • Increased anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Memory loss
  • Paranoia

Withdrawal symptoms typically begin to onset within 12-24 hours after the last dosage. Symptoms will gradually get worse on days two and three and then begin to slowly dissipate. Most physical symptoms are generally resolved with a week, but psychological issues such as anxiety and mood swings may last for up to a month.

Bath Salts Detox

When you are ready to quit using bath salts, detox is the first step in your recovery. Detoxing is the process of cleansing your body of the drug. While many people attempt to detox at home by abruptly stopping bath salts, or “going cold turkey”, this method is not encouraged as the severity of the withdrawal symptoms can cause a relapse. Also, going through detox without the supervision of a medical professional can be dangerous as the severity of symptoms can increase rapidly. If you are considering detox, it is best to speak with a professional addiction specialist and medical professional.

Detox can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Inpatient is typically recommended for those individuals with more severe or multiple addictions. Inpatient care provides individuals with access to 24/7 medical care and emotional support in a residential setting while they are going through the detox process. Outpatient detox can be beneficial for those individuals who want to quit using bath salts but want to continue living at home with minimal disruption to their everyday life. Medications, such as those to help with anxiety and insomnia, may be provided for both inpatient and outpatient treatments to help minimize the withdrawal effects.

Making the decision to quit using bath salts is not an easy one. When you or a loved one is ready to quit there are many options available to help with the road to recovery. You are ready to take the first step, please call one of our compassionate and knowledgeable addiction specialists today at 844-834-1777. We are available 24/7 to take your call.