Bath salts are a fascinating group of designer drug products. The word “bath” is derived from old English words describing sweat baths used by monks in the Middle Ages. Today bath salts are bath products that are commercially available and advertised for their usefulness as stress relief products. The word “bath salts” itself derived from old English words describing the water used in Roman baths called “salt.” The bath salt products come in various forms, including powders, crystals, and dissolved bath salts in oils.
The bath salt products are divided into two major categories based on chemical composition. They can be organic, which means that they contain no psychoactive drugs at all, or inorganic, which means they contain one or more psychoactive drugs. Most bath salts contain one or more cathinones, which act as natural sedatives and stimulants. Some bath salts contain other compounds that may also be therapeutic in some cases, but are generally considered to have little medical value.
Psychotic episodes and hallucinations are common with bath salts users, even if the drugs themselves are not ingested. This is because bath salts increase the user’s perceived levels of “arousal,” or happy feelings, which give rise to vivid memories and feelings of paranoia and delusional thoughts. Frequently bath salts users feel a need to share their experiences and ask others to help them remember or describe their visions and feelings during their episodes. The increased level of perceived confidence and power during an episode is also highly attractive to other people. Because bath salt users are convinced they are experiencing a legitimate emergency, many will join parties or gatherings where they can discuss their symptoms and predict how they will act during their next episode.
Because bath salt drugs increase the blood flow to the body, they also make the heart work harder, increasing its workload and potentially leading to a heart attack. Although there is no concrete evidence of an immediate correlation between bath salt use and heart attacks, the increased workload on the heart is potentially hazardous. In fact, bath salt drugs may be responsible for fatal conditions such as hyponatremia, which is death from lack of oxygen due to reduced blood flow. Other bath salt drugs can cause seizures or serious problems, such as high blood pressure. Although bath salt users do not normally die from these conditions, serious complications can arise from taking these drugs over time.
To investigate the risks of bath salts, clinical laboratories in the US and Canada have tested a wide range of bath salts, including their ingredients, on a number of groups of volunteers. Although clinical laboratories can’t conclude definitively that bath salt causes schizophrenia or other serious mental illnesses, they have found strong evidence that some bath salts cause a variety of health problems and symptoms. Among those tested, users of bath salts who experienced hallucinations, delusions and mania experienced more often after taking bath salts than people who did not suffer these side effects. The results of this study were published in the Journal of Clinical Toxicology.
Schizophrenia can be a very serious condition and is sometimes fatal. It can be caused by a number of factors, including genetics and early developmental experiences. Psychotic episodes and hallucinations are common in people who suffer from schizophrenia. Other symptoms include depression, agitation, mania, psychosis and delusions. Some patients even lose their ability to reason properly, leading to delusions and false thoughts, or an overall decline in their ability to live a normal life. It’s not known why bath salt and other stimulant-based products work so well to trigger these types of psychotic episodes, but it’s a possibility that these drugs are playing a role in this type of behavioral phenomenon.
Another indication that bath salt is triggering psychotic or manic symptoms is that people who take them to relax after being on the bathtub or shower frequently report feeling refreshed and less stressed after using the bath water. Some even say they feel “better”. This is only one of the many strange effects that people who use bath salts report experiencing.
So is bath salt new? Well, this new drug does have its critics, and the jury is still out on this one. If you read the journal articles, there is no clear evidence that the dangers of this drug are dangerous to your health. However, this particular brand doesn’t seem to be doing very well. In fact, the only case report that I could find mentioned a patient who had kidney problems when she took it. But again, this is quite a rarity, and if you or someone you know is having issues with this new drug, then perhaps you should reconsider your usage.