Bath salts are a collection of designer bath chemicals. The name is derived from times when the bath salts were disguised as bath salt. The bath salt, powder, crystals, or granules often resemble Epsom salt but are different chemically. They are usually sold as bath salt products under various names, such as bath salt, Dead Sea salt, and sea salt. They are popular for their supposed bath salt benefits.
The purported bath salt benefits are many. It is used to treat anxiety, depression, epilepsy, joint pain, migraine headaches, drug and alcohol addiction, insomnia, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), spasticity, and a host of other disorders. The chemical compounds in bath salt are believed to be responsible for these benefits. However, there are some serious concerns about using bath salt, especially in regard to one of the primary complaints of those who use them – panic attacks.
Although bath salts are not yet considered illegal in most jurisdictions, they have been banned in several states, including California. There are bath salt vendors operating on the internet, however, in these jurisdictions the selling of bath salts has not yet been banned. This is a similar situation to the illegal sale of powdered potpourri from online vendors. Even the Prop 1 ballot measure in California, which sought to ban the sale of bath salts, was defeated at the polls. In some municipalities, bath salt vendors continue to operate illegally.
One of the reasons that bath salts are not considered illegal is the similarity between bath salt and other stimulant drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines. These drugs are all known to produce the same types of effects – rushes, increased heart rate, and euphoria. They are also all illegal under most state laws. Proponents of bath salt argue that similar withdrawal symptoms resulting from the use of bath salts and other stimulant drugs are the result of dehydration and lack of oxygen. If the user does not consume adequate water and get into a proper restful sleep, the symptoms will not occur.
It is also argued that bath salts are legal because users do not consider them addictive or habit forming. According to this view, it is not the chemicals that make bath salts “high,” but rather the relaxation and enjoyment that users derive from them. One type of argument for this position is that people often think of bath salts as being similar to designer drugs such as cocaine and methamphetamines. Designer drugs act similarly by affecting the neurotransmitters in the brain, whereas bath salts stimulate the production of dopamine, which is responsible for feelings of euphoria and relaxation.
Another reason bath salt is considered an acceptable alternative to psychoactive substances is the lack of physical dependency that bath salts cause. People who often experience paranoia and panic attacks may be misdiagnosed with a range of mental disorders, including bi-polar disorder, depression, and schizophrenia. While these substances are physically addicting, they have no reported addiction or dependency.
Psychotic reactions to bath salts are similar to those caused by high doses of alcohol. Users report elevated heart rates, sweating, nausea, and a strong sense of psychological urgency. There is some debate among medical professionals over whether hallucinations are related to psychosis or are the result of low blood sugar. Hallucinations can be dangerous if they lead to thoughts of suicide or hurting oneself. Many addicts also report having visions of animals and people they know.
Unfortunately, bath salts are often abused and can lead to substance abuse and addiction. Overuse and dependence on bath salts have significantly increased in recent years. Withdrawal symptoms can include insomnia, anxiety, cravings, anxiety, depression, irritability, and frequent headaches. There is an intense urge to try new products that provide relief. This can lead to risky behaviors such as driving or using drugs to get a high. If you suspect that your child is suffering from bath salt addiction, talk with their doctor about treatment options.