What is Teen Bath Salts Abuse?
“Bath Salts” are a relatively new man-made drug in synthetic powder form, often containing one or more amphetamine-like chemicals, such as MDPV, mephedrone, and pyrovalerone. Up until very recently, baths salts were currently sold as a legal drug, either online or in drug paraphernalia stores, until MPVD and mephedrone were made illegal. Because teen bath salts abuse is a relatively new occurrence, research and knowledge of their effects is limited.
It’s also important to note that, because the ingredients in Bath Salts vary and often include things which have unknown health effects, abuse of this substance is very dangerous.
What It Looks Like
Since bath salts are made up of a number of different chemicals, effects and risks vary according to the particular dosage being administered. However, mixtures that contain mephedrone are extremely dangerous, in that this chemical acts on the brain like a stimulant drug, similar to cocaine. Therefore, the risk of addiction and/or overdose is extremely high. This form of Bath Salts also can produce intense cravings, similar to methampetamines, which also contributes to their addictiveness.
In a recent study focusing on bath salts containing MPVD (which includes most Bath Salts), results showed that the substance had similar effects on people as cocaine, only 10 times stronger.
Some of the effects of bath salts include, but are not limited to:
- Chest pains
- Increased blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Panic attacks
Bath salts abuse is commonly related to ER visits because of the severity of these symptoms.
Residential Teen Bath Salts Abuse Treatment
Teen bath salts abuse treatment is similar to other stimulant drug abuse treatment, such as Cocaine. The first and most urgent step is to support a teen in safely discontinuing use of Bath Salts, while providing oversight and careful attention to any side effects they may experience during the withdrawal. The severity of withdrawal symptoms can vary, depending on how addicted teens are and how long they’ve been using.
Then, therapists work with teens during teen bath salts abuse treatment to help them address their substance abuse and/or addiction. They do this by working with teens to identify and discuss any possible stresses that may have led to or encouraged the drug abuse. In a number of different approaches implemented within Talk Therapy sessions, therapists help teens to begin making connections between their triggers, stressors, and behaviors.
While helping teens address these factors, they also teach them healthy methods and techniques of dealing with stress, communicating with others, and facing their urge to use. By also teaching teens these behaviors, they help empower them to make changes toward a complete and long-lasting recovery. Therapists also implement Group Therapy sessions and Family Therapy sessions, which are often a very productive and enlightening experience. In Family Therapy sessions, therapists help to build a bridge of communication between the teens and their families, acknowledging how the families have been affected as well. By working together with family members while teens are still at Paradigm, therapists help the families build the healthy foundation needed in order to be successful in their recovery once teens return home.
Are Bath Salts an illegal substance?
Some of the key ingredients- namely, mephedrone and MDPV- were outlawed in July 2012. However, before this, Bath Salts quickly gained a reputation as a “legal high,” drawing much attention from young users. Following the outlaw of those specific ingredients, since Bath Salts are man-made substances, manufacturers are expected to come out with new versions of the same drug, with enough small differences to temporarily pass as a legal substance.