Bath salts or synthetic cathinones are the manmade forms of cathinones, a compound obtained from the “khat” plant, a shrub grown in South Africa and the Arabian peninsula. Many people chew the leaves of this plant for its slight stimulant effects. However, the man-made version of this compound can be very strong and hazardous. These are available in the form of white or brown crystalline powder and usually sold in small plastic bags or foil packets. These are labelled as “not for human consumption”, “bath salts”, “plant food”, “jewelry cleaner”, or “phone screen cleaner.”
Synthetic cathinones are also known as new psychoactive substances or NPS which are unregulated with no legitimate medical use. These are introduced and reintroduced in the market with the intention of dodging regulatory officials.
Bath salts mimic the effects of controlled substances and are therefore used as cheap substitutes for stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine. Many times, other products, like Molly or ecstasy, contain bath salts instead. These drugs are available online as well as at drug paraphernalia stores, tobacco shops, gas stations, convenience stores and truck shops, and are sold under the brand names “Vanilla Sky”, “White Lightening”, “Cloud Nine”, “Bliss”, and “Lunar Wave”.
Teens abusing bath salts usually snort, smoke, swallow or inject these. The principal ingredients of bath salts are methylone, mephedrone and MDPV and these ingredients have properties similar to those of Schedule I and II stimulants like cathinone, amphetamine and methcathinone. All these drugs have hallucinogenic and stimulant properties and are highly addictive in nature. In addition, none of them is approved for any medical use in the U.S.
Teens abuse drugs like bath salts because their attractive and colorful packaging appeals to them. In addition, these drugs are unregulated hence, easily available at drug paraphernalia shops or over the internet. In addition, these drugs do not get screened in the routine testing because of which, teenagers abuse them without the fear of getting caught.
The effects of consuming bath salts can last between 3 to 4 hours. Some of the adverse effects are:
Long-term abuse of bath salts might lead to a complete loss of coordination, ulcers, malnutrition, cardiovascular problems, psychosis, mood disorders and dizziness.
While a medically supervised detoxification process is imperative to treatment for addiction to bath salts, several behavioral therapies are also used. These include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), contingency management or motivational incentives and behavioral treatments geared to help teens.
The addiction specialists should also screen teen patients for co-occurring disorders. While there are no approved FDA medications for treating addiction to bath salts, there are approved medications for treating co-occurring disorders, administration of which helps effectively manage the symptoms of bath salt addiction also.
At ADEONA Healthcare of Rancho San Diego, our multidisciplinary team of professionals provides expert-level care to teens with substance abuse problems. Licensed by the State of California Department of Social Services, our addiction treatment programs at our state-of-the-art treatment facility are customized to fit the specific psychological and pharmacological needs of adolescents and teens to maximize their likelihood for a quick and lasting recovery.
Families are an integral part of the treatment program for teens. This is the reason why ADEONA Healthcare offers family therapy. Participating in these therapy sessions ensures that the family is able to discuss how the teen’s problems affected them. They can set expectations and recovery encouragement plan in place at these sessions.
For more information on how ADEONA Healthcare can integrate families into the recovery of their teens, call our 24/7 helpline (888) 997-3966. You can also chat online with our admission counselor to understand how we personalize treatment interventions for each and every teen patient.