Bath salts or psychoactive bath salts (PABS) are designer drugs with many street names. They are dangerous and many hospitals report intoxication across the United States. The chemical makeup of bath salts involves methylenedioxypyrovalerone or MDPV, and other stimulants such as mephedrone and pyrovalerone. These chemicals are listed as a Schedule I controlled substance and are illegal. There is no known medical use for bath salts.
MDVP is related to MDMA, which is a hallucinogenic substance with stimulant derivatives. Before the classification as a Schedule I controlled substance, bath salts were sold in gas stations and smoke shops as a white or off-white powdered substance. Bath salts do not produce the same high as methamphetamines; however, the drug is inhaled usually through the nose like some methamphetamines. Some individuals ingest bath salts orally. The bath salt experience can last up to eight hours and is reported to be 10 times stronger than cocaine.
The effects of using bath salts can include dangerous symptoms such as fast heart rate, high blood pressure, hyperthermia, insomnia, and seizures. Other symptoms can include more psychological dysfunction such as severe panic attacks, paranoia, delusions, and violent behavior. A person who uses bath salts can overheat and actually tear off their clothing in an effort to cool off. The paranoia seen with use of bath salts can include aggressive, uncontrolled attacks on others and often the person is unresponsive to any verbal dialogue.
Bath salts have been reported to be addictive including the development of a tolerance to the drug over time. Many people can experience cravings as is seen with methamphetamines. Bath salts can be “cut” with other substances; therefore, the true magnitude of toxicity and addiction may be higher than originally thought.
If a person wishes to stop using bath salts, it is a good idea to seek medical care as soon as possible. This is a serious drug with serious consequences when used. This is a powerful drug that is both addictive and hard to stop using. Some bath salt users will spiral down into an unrecognizable state before realizing what has happened. There are now inpatient rehabilitation facilities that can effectively treat a bath salt addiction. It is recommended by the substance abuse community, that anyone with a bath salt addiction should opt for inpatient rehab due to the dangerous chemical nature of the drug and its effects on physical and psychological functioning.