Bath salts are simply a collection of various designer recreational drugs. The name is derived from cases where the drugs were hidden as dead sea salts. The crystals, powders, or white flakes often look very similar to Epsom salt but are different chemically. The active ingredients of bath salts are not concentrated but are usually mineral in nature.
Most bath salt manufacturers claim that their products are safe to use even for those with high blood pressure or diabetes. However, overuse can have serious and addictive side effects. The main chemical in bath salt that can be harmful if too much is ingested is sodium chloride. Sodium chloride has many similar effects on the body as well as pain relievers and antihistamines. People who combine bath salt with alcohol may experience hallucinations, convulsions, shock, and heart attack.
Many users have reported an intense relaxation of the whole body, including the muscles and joints. Another common complaint is the loss of appetite. There have been reports of people gaining weight while on bath salt. This may be due to dehydration of the body.
The main reason why bath salt is addictive is that the user takes it in large amounts, and doesn't know it. The drug provides a relaxed state, similar to cocaine, or methamphetamine, which releases dopamine. Other chemicals, which may be present in a bath salt, such as iodine, lysine, and choline, also excite dopamine, resulting in a euphoric "high".
Most bath salt users do not become addicted, they just enjoy the effect. Some may also take bath salt regularly and find themselves unable to stop taking it. Also, some people take bath salt for comfort and not necessarily to become addicted. Some people take small amounts occasionally and find that it provides relief from stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, fatigue, etc. They may not feel an addiction because the effects of the drug are not strong enough to cause physical dependence. Unfortunately, bath salt from dead sea salt users does tend to have more difficult times when their daily stresses become too much to bear.
There are ways to avoid becoming addicted to bath salt. If you use bath salt on a regular basis, you should consider giving it up. It will still give you pleasure, and you will not become dependent on it. If you take bath salt on a regular basis and find yourself unable to stop, inform your physician about your problem. It is possible that your medication could interfere with bath salt's effect, causing withdrawal symptoms that will make you want to take the drug again.
Unfortunately, bath salt addiction does tend to run in families. It is a drug that is easily accessed and passed from person to person. This makes it very easy for even small children to become hooked on it. In most cases, the addiction begins at a young age, usually while the child is still using bath salts as a recreational activity.
It is important to understand that bath salt addiction is very real. Most addicts report that they first became aware of it when they were middle-aged. It is easy to become bath salt-dependent if you are not used to taking it regularly. If this is the case, you must take steps to discontinue taking bath salts until you can no longer feel the urge to take them. Also, if you are not able to give it up on your own, be sure to consult a medical doctor. He or she may be able to help you find a bath salt substitute that will not turn into a bath salt addiction.