Last updated: 04/12/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse for Teens, “‘Bath salts’ is the name given to a family of drugs that have one or more manmade chemicals related to cathinone,” a stimulant similar to amphetamine. Research shows that these drugs can cause an intense addiction syndrome, and those who become addicted will require treatment.
Addiction Treatment in General
Unfortunately, there are no specific treatment options that have been found to be effective in minimizing bath salts addiction, but addiction treatment in general is not only helpful but necessary. There are actually several methods that have been found to be beneficial in helping one recover from addiction to any type of drug or mind-altering substance. An individual whose use of bath salts has become uncontrollable and has begun to cause dangerous or problematic issues in the person’s life will need formal addiction treatment in order to stop abusing these hazardous substances.
Behavioral Therapy as Addiction Treatment
Behavioral therapy has been found to be the most effective treatment for addiction across the board, and it is part of almost every rehab program. This is because behavioral therapy teaches individuals to recognize dangerous or negative behavior and to change it through the learning of better coping mechanisms.
In addition, the NIDA states, “The high rate of comorbidity between drug use disorders and other mental illnesses calls for a comprehensive approach that identifies and evaluates both” conditions, and behavioral therapies are extremely beneficial for the treatment of both. Also, because bath salts can have a severe effect on a person’s mental health, the individual may need treatment for mood or mental disorders that may have been created by their drug abuse as well as issues that may have already existed previously.
What Else Happens in Bath Salts Rehab?
Those who first come into treatment may require 24-hour care in a controlled environment, especially because of the psychological effects of the drug. “Psychiatric symptoms including paranoia, hallucinations, and panic attacks” are common, and certain patients may require sedation (NIDA). While there is no official medication sanctioned for the treatment of bath salts addiction, certain drugs may be given especially during the withdrawal period in order to keep patients from harming themselves or others.
Physical conditions like high blood pressure, high heart rate, and possible excited delirium (which causes dehydration, breakdown of muscle tissue, and kidney failure) are also monitored. “In 2011, bath salts were reported in nearly 23,000 emergency room visits,” and the drug’s effects can be extremely dangerous if overlooked (NIDA 1).
Once the individual is stable enough, they can begin their therapy regimen and also think about other treatment options. Most inpatient or residential programs offer family therapy, which can be especially beneficial for adolescent patients who respond well to family involvement in treatment. The individual could also consider holistic approaches that increase mental strength, calmness, and mindfulness like yoga or meditation. Because bath salts cause such intense agitation, it can be important for the individual to learn to relax and stay calm, especially to avoid triggers and cravings.