Substance Use

Bath Salts Detox: How to Detox Safely

bath salts synthetic cathinones

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How to Detox From Bath Salts Safely

You’ve likely heard of bath salts — but these are not the sweet-smelling crystals you pour into the bath at the end of a long day.

These “bath salts” are instead an illegal substance — methylenedioxypyrovalerone — that some individuals snort, smoke, or inject for the high produced. Abuse of bath salts is a danger to the user’s health.

Addiction to bath salts may result in the need of a medical detox. Here’s what you should know.

If you or a loved one has experimented with bath salts and become addicted, Zinnia Health can help. We offer detox programs, bath salt addiction treatment, and supportive care at our welcoming inpatient facilities. We also offer group counseling, aftercare, and outpatient services to help curb cravings. Call our helpline 24/7 at (855) 430-9439 or contact us online to connect with one of our caring support specialists.

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What is a Bath Salts Detox?

Bath salts addiction recovery programs are presented in both inpatient and outpatient methods.

Outpatient recovery requires attendance at a treatment center a few times each week. Outpatient programs provide support groups and individual counseling sessions.

Some outpatient programs may begin after a successful bath salts detox or at the culmination of an inpatient recovery program.

An inpatient rehab program, also known as residential treatment, takes place in a treatment center with living quarters. Individuals live at the rehab center directly following bath salts detox (if detox is necessary) and take part in a program with structure and routine.

Most inpatient treatments offer detoxification, counseling, mental health awareness lessons, and 12-step program meetings.

Bath Salts: What Are They?

A relative newcomer in the illicit substance category, bath salts are synthetic substances that give users a high similar to amphetamines. Bath salts are stimulants that act on the central nervous system (CNS). Chemically, bath salts resemble cathinone, a natural substance taken from the khat plant.

Typical bath salt products come in various forms, such as:

  • Powder (white and brown)
  • Crystal
  • Liquid

Less common, they can also be found as:

  • Tablet
  • Capsule

Most packages are sold as unassuming products, such as:

  • Plant food or fertilizer
  • Gold and silver jewelry polish
  • Phone screen and eyeglasses smudge remover

These drugs are mainly manufactured in other countries and shipped to the United States with dishonest labeling to avoid detection and skirt drug legislation.

These drugs are easily found online, as well as in smoke shops and fuel stations, which has led to incorrect assumptions about the substances. People assume that the drug’s availability means they aren’t harmful, or they’re at least safer than recognized illegal substances — but this is false.

The synthetic compounds in bath salts present a list of side effects, including:

  • Abnormally fast heart rate
  • Elevated body temp
  • Spike in blood pressure
  • Faster breathing
  • Energy boosts
  • Increased sociability
  • Elevated excitement and euphoria
  • Heightened focus
  • Increased sensitivity to pleasure
  • Decreased appetite
  • Decreased need for sleep

When bath salts are abused, they produce extremely dangerous side effects that require medical detox to remove.

For patient comfort, benzodiazepines are frequently used as part of detoxification.

Healthcare professionals aren’t sure of all bath salt side effects because there’s scant research on the ingredients. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) classified bath salts as Schedule I drugs in 2011 for multiple reasons:

  • There’s no known or acceptable medical purpose
  • The synthetic substance has an extreme risk of abuse
  • The DEA had already ruled the main ingredients illegal

Schedule I classifications refer to substances that are both illegal to sell and possess. Bath salts manufacturers skirt this ruling by altering their synthetic cathinones.

They modify the chemical signatures enough that their products can go undetected at ports, effectively escaping regulation. In other words, these modified substances — although not legal — technically fit legal requirements, meaning people who recreationally use drugs can still access bath salts.

Are you worried that someone in your family has access to bath salts? This substance presents a real cause for concern. To connect with us and our caring recovery specialists, call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 to learn about intervention methods and treatment options.

How Bath Salts Affect Your Brain

It’s tough for researchers to complete significant testing on bath salts because the substance’s chemical fingerprint is always modified.

Bath salts most closely resemble stimulant medications, such as Adderall, which increase neurotransmitter activity in the CNS. These chemical messengers are:

  • Dopamine. Helps signal the pleasure response, can boost memory, focus, and learning while also affecting mood, sleep patterns, and overall behavior
  • Serotonin. Helps regulate mood and behavior in social situations, and helps control appetite and the body’s ability to digest foods while also playing roles in sleep patterns, memory strength, and an increased desire (and ability) to participate in sexual activities
  • Norepinephrine. Produces the fight-for-flight response, elevates blood pressure, increases blood flow to the skeletal muscles, and produces a rapid heartbeat

This alteration of brain chemicals can permanently change a person’s brain and their ability to understand social situations, process emotions, and more.

What Are the Signs of Bath Salt Addiction?

Are you concerned that a loved one may be addicted to bath salts?

Have you tried this substance a few times, and can’t seem to stop?

Review the list below, and if you or your loved one shows signs of two or more of these symptoms in a 12-month period, a bath salt addiction could be to blame:

  • Bath salt uses continuously increase, in greater amounts each time, and longer than initially planned
  • Unsuccessful in cutting back or stopping bath salt use
  • A lot of time is spent finding, using, or recuperating from the after-effects of use
  • Cravings for bath salts
  • Bath salt use is causing issues with dependability or ability at home, school, or work
  • Social issues escalate due to bath salt abuse but the person doesn’t stop using
  • Social activities, work outings, or personal hobbies are forgotten as bath salts are chosen instead
  • Repeatedly using this substance in situations that pose physical danger
  • Continued abuse of the drug even though a physical ailment or mental health issue is worsening
  • Substance tolerance presents as greater doses with each subsequent use to get the same high as previously experienced
  • Experiencing bath salt withdrawal symptoms that are only curbed with additional bath salts use

It should be noted that overdosing on bath salts is a very real risk.

A bath salts overdose is profoundly dangerous because it can result in an extended period in which the user experiences serious mental symptoms, such as psychosis or delirium.

These symptoms can last for a few days or as long as a few weeks.

Symptoms of an Overdose on Bath Salts

Overdose can present both psychological and physical effects of bath salts.


  • Agitation
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sudden severe panic attacks
  • Acute psychosis
  • Hallucinations
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Violent actions
  • Self-harm


  • Racing heartbeat
  • Blood pressure spikes
  • Very high fevers
  • Sudden seizures
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Stroke or paralysis
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Brain hemorrhage

Zinnia Health Can Help

Overcoming substance abuse requires dedication — from the user, their family or roommates, and the treatment center chosen for recovery. Zinnia Health understands how devastating drug addiction can be for everyone involved. It’s our mission to help you get clean, stay clean, and consider each day another successful step on your journey to recovery from drug abuse.

Reach out to Zinnia Health to discuss our treatment programs with one of our caring rehab providers. Call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439.

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(855) 430-9439
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