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Bath Salts Abuse and Addiction (cont.)

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What are risk and protective (prevention) factors for bath salts use disorder?

As opposed to any specific direct causes, there are a number of biological, psychological, and social factors, called risk factors, that can increase a person's likelihood of developing a substance use disorder. The frequency that addictions to any drug, including bath salts, occur within some families seems to be higher than can be explained by the addictive environment of the family. Therefore, most substance-abuse professionals recognize a genetic aspect to the risk of this and other drug addictions. Mental-health symptoms that are caused by bath salt use disorder include mood disorders like depression or anxiety. Social risk factors for bath salt use, as for any type of drug use disorder, include male gender, age 18 to 44 years old, unmarried marital status, and lower socioeconomic status. According to statistics by state, people residing in the West tend to be at higher risk for chemical dependency. As with substance use disorder in general, prevention of bath salt abuse and addiction is increased by circumstances like receiving appropriate supervision, as well as clear messages from family members that drug use is unacceptable.

What are the symptoms and signs of bath salts intoxication?

The signs and symptoms of bath salts intoxication include:

  • feeling euphoric ("high"),
  • sexually stimulated,
  • thinking one is more focused, and
  • having high energy levels for two to four hours after taking the drug.

Those symptoms tend to be followed by feeling very let down for several hours to days thereafter.

What are the side effects, complications, and prognosis of abusing bath salts?

Possible side effects and complications of even low doses of bath salts abuse include:

The agitation and delirium can last for days. Other possible effects on the body from using these drugs, particularly with overdose, include: 

Emotional complications of bath salts abuse can include panic attacks and violence against oneself (suicidal thoughts or actions, or self-mutilation, as in cutting or burning oneself). 

The bath salts abuser may develop thoughts, attempts, or acts of homicide or violence against others. Deaths from the medical problems associated with bath salts have been known to occur, as well.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/16/2016


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