A synthetic drug mix that first began in France in 1928 and 1929 has become a growing trend in the United States. Synthetic cathinones, more commonly known as “bath salts,” are chemically made from synthetic compounds: MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone), mephedrone, pyrovalerone and methylone. These synthetic ingredients originate from natural ingredients called cathinones found in khat. Khat is a shrub that is grown in East Africa and the Middle East, and many people chew on the leaves to obtain a mild stimulating effect. Now this substance is the source of bath salts abuse and the serious consequences that come with it.
“Bath salts” are chemically similar to cocaine, amphetamines and Ecstasy. Synthetic cathinones are considered addictive, mind-stimulating psychoactive substances that are cheap substitutes for cocaine or Ecstasy, making bath salts abuse a growing problem among young people.
Synthetic cathinones appear as white or brown small crystals packed in small plastic or foil bags concealed with labels such as “laundry detergent,” “plant food” or “jewelry cleaner.” This synthetic, mind-altering drug can be bought online or even in drug paraphernalia shops. Often it is called other names such as: flakka, bloom, cloud nine, lunar wave, vanilla sky, white lightning and scarface. Cathinones can be snorted, smoked, injected or swallowed.
Bath Salts Symptoms
Bath salts drug abuse can produce the following effects:
- Increased sociability
- Increased sex drive
- Panic attacks
- Excited delirium
- Increased heart rate
- Increased blood pressure
Addiction to bath salts and bath salts abuse can result in very dangerous behavior and even can be deadly. Bath salts drug abuse and addiction hijack the brain, making it more difficult to obtain a euphoric state. After coming down from a high, it is typical for the individual to feel depressed and lonely, resulting in the strong urge to use again.
- Withdrawal symptoms from bath salts include agitation, depression, anxiety, tremors, sleep disturbances and paranoia.