The Reality of Addiction: Bath Salts

By
October 17, 2012

Bath Salts DrugJacqueline  Mullis, MA, Director of Addiction Counseling Services at OPI,  recently visited La Ventana Treatment Center for an educational seminar on Bath Salts, given by Neva Chauppette, Psy D. The following notes highlight some of Dr. Chaupette’s key points about addiction, and then more specifically, the drug Bath Salts.

To begin with, the drug is never really the problem. Dr. Chaupette says that “the reality of addiction is that it is chronic, incurable, pervasive, progressive, but a treatable brain disease.”  Many people who suffer from the disease of addiction will most likely be suffering from multiple morbidities, meaning that the person will likely have more than one long-term condition.  The amount of people that are struggling with the effects of trauma and addiction are horrific, says Dr. Chaupette.  It is common for addicts to transfer from one addiction to another, in addition to maintaining multiple conditions at once. Looking at how society socially molds men and women, she discusses how there are common trends in the transference of addiction. For most women, they will transfer from their drug and alcohol addiction to a food or relationship addiction, which may appear more socially acceptable.  Most commonly, men will transfer their addiction to work and exercise.

After the brief introduction to addition, Dr. Chaupette discussed the drug, which is popularly referred to as Bath Salts. To begin the deconstruction of these, Dr. Chaupette clarifies that these are in no way connected to the actual salts used at bath time. She mentioned that the purpose for naming this drug in this way is so that the users can stay one step ahead of the FDA. Essentially, Bath Salts are a form of methamphetamines.  The active substance in Bath Salts is “MDPV,” which stands for Methylenedioxypyrovalerone. Bath Salts can be sold as powder, pills or capsules and the price range is anywhere from $20.00 to $40.00.

The biggest difference between Methamphetamines and Bath Salts is that after Bath Salts are ingested, the drug sits in the synapse and days later there will be a resurface of the drug, producing the same side effect of the initial high of the drug. This drug takes weeks and weeks to be cleaned out of your system, says Dr. Chaupette. Some of the side effects of taking this drug are as follows:

  • Euphoria
  • Mood lift
  • Elevation in heart rate
  • Psychotic presentation
  • Hallucinations and Delusions

Generally, users who are on this drug appear agitated and combative, paranoid, confused, hyper-tense, and they have blurred vision.  Most of the information that is found on Bath Salts is from the Emergency room or Police stations.

Dr. Chaupette also discussed what appears on the packaging. She indicated that the language is vague and may contain advertisements such as “not for human consumption,” “Plant food,” “toilet bowl cleaner,” “Stain Remover,” and “Hookah Cleanse.”  Although Baths Salts are not a new drug, they have recently found a new market; and to be able to identify the language used to describe then, here are some of the common names for Bath Salts:

  • Super Molly
  • Molly Plant food
  • Ivory Show
  • Bliss
  • Charlie Sheen
  • Cloud 9

Bath Salts, or any other name listed above, are designer drugs, which means that they are man-made. And, not only are they man-made, but they are continuously shifting in their chemical make-up, which makes them especially dangerous. When designer drugs lack consistency with who is producing them, the end-user runs the risk of ingesting even more toxic and unidentifiable substances, as the makers cut them with potentially lethal things. This makes it more difficult to identify what to treat if a user is hospitalized.

If someone you know takes Bath Salts, you should call poison control at 1.800.222.1222, as well as 911. Do not think that this is something that you can handle on your own.  The disease of Addiction is cunning, baffling and powerful.