Bath salts are synthetic substances that contain a variety of chemicals and are often sold over the counter by gas stations and head shops, as well as on the street.
Recently, designer drugs like bath salts and flakka have been appearing on the streets. Earning their name from one of the various products they are disguised as, bath salts are a particularly dangerous “upper”. These are not your grandmother’s Epsom salts. Flakka, while chemically different from bath salts, is from the same family of designer drugs. Most common in the Southern United States, Flakka has spread to other regions as well. It is known for being extremely inexpensive and potent, making it a real threat to communities across the United States of America.
Designer drugs such as flakka and bath salts are often seen in news headlines, 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. It was later revealed that he was high on flakka. 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.
Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), Mephedrone, alpha-PVP, Other Cathinones
Methods of Use
Snorted, Injected, Smoked, Orally
Bath Salts & Flakka Drug Effects
Bath salts and flakka typically appear as a white, crystalline powder, but can sometimes be found as larger chunks or crystals. Bath salts sold in stores are often packaged in a way that real hygiene products would not be, featuring questionable imagery and homemade labeling. Ironically, some of the products are labeled “not intended for human consumption”.
Someone abusing Flakka and Bath Salts may exhibit the following drug effects and symptoms
Hallucinations & excited delirium
Increased sociability & lowered inhibitions
Increase sex drive
Increased body temperature
Increased blood pressure
While the “high” typically lasts two to four hours, the physical effects can last much longer. Depending on how the addict uses the drug, other signs may exist. Injections can leave scarring on the arms, hands of feet, while snorting bath salts can lead to a runny or bloody nose.
Withdrawal symptoms of Flakka and Bath Salts can include…
Impaired cognitive function
The severity of these symptoms varies depending on the following factors.
Length of use
Method of use
Previous psychological conditions
Safe detox from regular use of bath salts is critical, not only for comfort but to medically stabilize the addict’s body to prevent physical consequences. Treatment at an inpatient substance abuse facility is usually recommended to ensure long-term recovery.
Long-Term Effects of Flakka and Bath Salts
Since bath salts, flakka, and other designer drugs have just recently become more popular, long-term effects are still difficult to measure. There is, however, some research on how these drugs interact with the brain and metabolize in the body. Studies show long-term effects of synthetic cathinones can occur long after the desired effects wear off. These include but are not limited to…
Bath salts and flakka are similar to cocaine and amphetamines in that they increase the level of dopamine in the user’s brain. Dopamine is a chemical associated with the brain’s reward system, and increases are responsible for the “up” feeling that users are trying to achieve with these designer drugs. After long-term use, dopamine levels in the brain become off-balance, which is when users are most vulnerable to becoming addicted.
A designer drug is a synthetic variation of an already illegal drug, Due to slight chemical changes, manufacturers are able to stay one step ahead of legislation and law enforcement. 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 flakka and 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.
Flakka increases the body’s internal temperature and heart rate, which can wreak havoc on the user’s internal organs. 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.
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. As with any substance, potential for overdose increases when combined with other substances such as alcohol, marijuana, or prescription drugs.
Flakka and Bath Salts Treatment in West Palm Beach, FL
Since designer drug abuse has increased in past years, the demand for treatment specific to these types of drugs has increased along with it. Although there are no designated medications currently available to cure an addiction to synthetic cathinones, a variety of behavioral methods (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy) have been scientifically proven to be effective. Flakka, bath salts, and other similar intoxicants can trigger intense psychological drug effects that linger long after the drugs leave the body. This is why it is very important to get someone the appropriate help.
The first step is to visit our admissions process page. Specialists are available 24/7. Next, the physical dependency is addressed to safely remove the harmful chemicals from the body. Doctors will closely monitor the patient to prevent further medical complications. When cleared by a physician, the psychological, life and social factors are treated with a personalized combination of clinical and holistic therapies.