What Do You Need to Know About Bath Salts?
June 24, 2013
UnityPoint Health - Des Moines
"Bath Salts," not the kind used in your bath tub, is a type of recreational drug that has emerged over the past few years in the United States. Termed "designer drugs," bath salts and other drugs like them are packaged and sold under the guise of the names of household products to evade legal controls. Packaging is conspicuously labeled "not for human consumption," although according to the authors of a recent paper published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, these substances are clearly intended for "use as psychoactive substances." According to the article, "Not Really 'Bath Salts'-- Paper provides Updates on 'Designer Stimulants,' these illegal stimulants have similar effects to those of cocaine and amphetamine when sniffed, swallowed, or injected.
According to the article, side effects of acute toxicity may include agitation, increased heart rate, combative or violent behavior, delusions and/or hallucinations; death may even occur resulting from medical complications or suicide related to exposure. In addition, there has been evidence of tolerance, withdrawal, and dependence. While physical side effects to bath salts have generally subsided after a few days of treatment, psychotic effects may continue and require close psychiatric observation for their safety and the safety of others.
The use of these drugs has been particularly popular among those between the ages of 20 and 29 years, although exposures have been reported in children younger than 6 and in adults over the age of 59. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, as of May 31st there have already been 450 calls to poison centers regarding exposure to bath salts in just this year alone, with over 2,500 total in 2012 and over 6,000 in 2011. ?
Cited article was published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in reference to a review presented in the June edition of the Journal of Addiction Medicine entitled, "Substituted cathione products: a new trend in 'bath salts' and other designer stimulatn drug use."
Erik W. Gunderson, Matthew G. Kirkpatrick, Laura M. Willing, Christopher P. Holstege. Substituted Cathinone Products. Journal of Addiction Medicine, 2013; 7 (3): 153 DOI: 10.1097/ADM.0b013e31829084b7
American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC):