Bath Salts Abuse and Addiction (cont.)
Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, MD
Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards is an adult, child, and adolescent psychiatrist. She is a former Chair of the Committee on Developmental Disabilities for the American Psychiatric Association, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, and Medical Director of the National Center for Children and Families in Bethesda, Maryland.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Bath salts facts
- What are bath salts, and how are bath salts abused?
- What is the history of bath salts?
- Are bath salts addictive?
- Are bath salts legal?
- What are risk and protective (prevention) factors for bath salts abuse and addiction?
- What are the symptoms and signs of bath salts intoxication?
- What are the side effects, complications, and prognosis of abusing bath salts?
- How is bath salts abuse and addiction diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for bath salts abuse and addiction?
- Where can people find more information about bath salts abuse and addiction?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What are bath salts, and how are bath salts abused?
Bath salts are a type of "designer" drug of abuse. The reason these drugs are commonly called bath salts is because they tend to be in the form of white powder or crystals. It is important to note, however, that these substances are not the same as the bath salts in which people bathe. Many of the bath salt drugs are mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV or MDPK) and are chemically similar to stimulant chemicals like cocaine or amphetamines. MDPV or MDPK also have similarities to hallucinogens like Ecstasy.
Some of the other many street or slang names for bath salts include Red Dove, Blue Silk, Vanilla Sky, Purple Wave, Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning, White Dove, Super Coke, Tranquility, Zoom, and Magic. Mephedrone also has street names like meow, drone, and meph. These so-called designer drugs are usually ingested, smoked, sniffed, or injected.
The rate of bath salts abuse has rapidly increased. For example, poison-control centers in the United States reportedly received 302 calls regarding abuse of this drug in 2010. That number increased to 1,782 calls in just the first four months of 2011 and more than 5,000 calls by October of that year. The areas where these drugs are used have also seemed to expand; originally, most of the calls to poison-control centers came from Louisiana, Florida, and Kentucky but later on came from 33 states.
As of 2011, bath salts were the sixth most commonly used drugs, after tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and Ecstasy. Bath salts users tend to be male and younger than the users of other drugs, and most use it at least weekly. Most bath salts users snort or otherwise inhale the drug, causing a more intense high and higher risk of addiction and complications.
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