Years ago, when we heard the term “bath salts” we’d think of the stuff you added to the water in your tub for a more relaxing bubble bath. Nowadays, the term takes on a new meaning as an increasingly popular street drug. The term “bath salts” doesn’t refer to any one drug, but rather a group of drugs that have chemical similarities. There are more than 100 different types in circulation.
There are three main chemicals that make up the most common bath salts, and they are imported from India and China. Bath salts usually are brown or white, and they are sold in powder form. Most often they are sold online or at stores where you can purchase drug paraphernalia. They can be ingested by:
Whichever method is used, the immediate result is a surge of dopamine being released into your brain. You feel a wave of euphoria, perhaps an increase in sex drive, and a jump in friendliness and social behavior. But those short-term positives are outweighed by many long-term negatives.
Bath salts sound harmless, right? When used in their proper form, they can help you unwind and relax after a long day. But they have terrifying side effects when used improperly. They have been known to cause agitation, hallucination, and, in some extreme cases, even violent behavior.
There have also been several deaths associated with using bath salts to get high. The risks of using these drugs are just as serious as any illegal drugs you can find on the street. The chemicals in bath salts are actually 10 times as potent as those in cocaine when it comes to raising the level of dopamine in the brain.
We hear horror stories about the reckless acts committed by those who take bath salts. People are known to act somewhat like zombies when they are on the drug, and the drug is linked to nearly 23,000 emergency department visits in the U.S. in 2011.
Bath salt zombies are a danger not only to those around them, but also to themselves. People using bath salts — especially those who snort or inject them to get the chemical into their bloodstream more quickly — have reported serious cardiac problems, including chest pains and racing hearts. Panic attacks may also pop up, even if the person has never had a panic attack before taking the drug.
As with so many drugs, bath salts are addictive, and people can become dependent on them. Another big risk: Drug dealers have been known to substitute cheap bath salts for other drugs, such as ecstasy, in order to make a bigger profit. This can make an overdose treatment at a hospital very dangerous, because no one knows what chemicals were actually ingested.
This video helps explain the process your body goes through and some of the side effects associated with the drug. Bath Salt Zombies will teach you what you need to know about the dangers of this chemical drug.
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Posted on October 30th, 2013 in Infographics