Designer drugs such as flakka and bath salts are often seen in news headlines, and associated with bizarre behaviors. Recently, a Miami man ran out of his house, ripped his clothes off, and screamed violently while fighting off police officers while high on flakka. Consequently, Florida was the nation’s clear leader in flakka-related arrests in 2014 and 2015, but the drug has spread throughout the rest of the nation as well. Nevertheless, Ambrosia Treatment Center of South Florida is here to treat bath salt abuse and addiction to prevent these dangerous outcomes and behaviors.
Bath salts and other synthetic cathinones include:
- Alpha PVP (“flakka”)
- 3, 4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone
Flakka is one of the most dangerous types of synthetic cathinones. Unfortunately, they have additionally been linked to overdose deaths, violent behavior, and self-injury.
Street names or slang terms for bath salts include:
- Blue Silk
- White Dove
- White Knight
- White Lightning
- Cloud Nine
- Lunar Wave
- Snow Leopard
- Ivory Vanilla Sky
Long-term effects of bath salts include:
- Intense hallucinations
- Anxiety attacks
- Liver failure
Mephedrone, one of the main ingredients in bath salts, was synthesized as far back as the late 1920s. However, it was not until the 2000s that designer chemicals became popular for abuse.
A designer drug is a synthetic variation of an already illegal drug. Due to slight chemical changes, manufacturers are able to stay a step ahead of legislation and law enforcement. Thus, this legal gray area is what allows substances like bath salts to be sold in stores and damage the lives of young adults.
Until recently, chemicals such as MDPV and alpha-PVP could be purchased online legally through Chinese vendors and shipped directly to your doorstep. Laboratories overseas are mostly responsible for the production of bath salts, although China has recently banned the manufacturing of these substances.
No. Designer drugs like bath salts are chemically based on naturally occurring cathinones, but they are entirely synthetic and made in laboratories. Cathinones are derived from the khat plant, which is native to the Middle East and parts of Africa.
Alpha-PVP (flakka) is created in a laboratory and is entirely synthetic. That means it is designed to be as potent as possible. Uppers like cocaine are naturally derived, which makes them less potent and more expensive to the consumer, while synthetics cost significantly less.
Bath salts increase the body’s internal temperature and heart rate, which can wreak havoc on the user’s internal organs. In fact, reports state that kidney damage and even kidney failure have occurred. Those who are prone to medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, or aneurysms are even more at risk.
? Due to the similarities between synthetic stimulants and drugs like cocaine and amphetamines, bath salts have a high potential for abuse and can be addictive.
While bath salts and flakka are both designer drugs in the family of synthetic cathinones, chemically they are different. They do, however, produce similar effects and are equally as dangerous.
Yes. As of July 2012 the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act banned the distribution and possession of chemicals commonly found in bath salts. However, the products are still sold illegally, oftentimes through online vendors.
Yes. Just like other amphetamines, bath salts can lead to an overdose. Symptoms of an overdose include profuse sweating, increased heart rate, vomiting, and labored breathing for instance. As with any substance, potential for overdose increases when combined with other substances such as alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs.