“Bath salts” have made national news in recent years due to their highly unusual – inducing components. The term, “bath salts,” is given to synthetics for their close resemblance to bath salts that are used during bathing, such as Epsom salts. Unfortunately, synthetic cathinones are commonly sold over the counter as plant food, electronic device cleaners, jewelry cleaners, or carpet deodorizer. Although these substances are often labeled as “not for human consumption,” their actual purpose is to be taken and induce mind-altering effects. The drug is meant to mimic the effects of stimulant-like substances, such as methamphetamines and cocaine, which has further strengthened the belief in their “safe qualities.” However, synthetics are not a safe alternative to illicit drug abuse
What Are Synthetic Cathinones?
Synthetic cathinones are man-made drugs that are similar to a stimulant found in the khat plant, cathinone. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, synthetic cathinones are classified as a new psychoactive substance. Unfortunately, synthetic cathinones cannot be regulated by the federal government, especially as manufacturers continually reformulate the chemical composition of each back. Essentially, lawmakers cannot make all cousins is illegal, and when lawmakers identify a specific composition as illegal, manufactures alter the composition. Some of the common names for synthetics include the following:
- Vanilla Sky.
- Lunar wave.
- Cloud Nine.
Effects of Synthetic Cathinones
Synthetic cathinones are widely available, but these substances may induce serious health effects. Synthetic cathinones are reported to cause a variety of immediate side effects, which include the following:
- Reduced inhibitions, which may apply to use of other illicit substances, engaging in Risky sexual activities, or operating Machinery while under the influence of the synthetic cathinones.
- Anxiety and nervousness.
- Side effects that are similar to, if not identical, to the consumption of amphetamines and cocaine, such as increased heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure.
In fact, some evidence, reports the National Institute on Drug Abuse, suggests synthetic cathinones are 10X more powerful than cocaine. Additional side effects of synthetic cathinones include the following:
- Extreme paranoia, which may include unreasonable distrust or thoughts about others.
- Auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations.
- Increased social awareness.
- Increased sexual urgency and drive.
- Extreme agitation and anxiety, which may result in unexplained panic attacks.
- Unusual outbursts of violence or agitation.
Additional side effects of synthetic cathinones depend on how the drug was ingested.
For example, those who snort the substances may be prone to frequent, profuse nosebleeds, touching, or nausea. In some cases, the use has been linked to increased osteoclast activity, which refers to the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, and kidney failure. Most importantly, intoxication has been directly linked to death, and the majority of these cases are the result of injection or snorting of the substance.
Treatment of Synthetic Cathinone Abuse
Unlike many other illicit substances, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat addiction to synthetic cathinones. however, medications can be used to manage withdrawal symptoms during detox period most treatments for addiction to are based on types of behavioral therapy. Some of these therapies include the following:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Motivational enhancement therapy.
- Contingency management.
- Behavioral treatment for teens, such as multidimensional family therapy.
As a result, those who have been involved with treatment for drug abuse or teen alcohol abuse non 12-step treatment programs must not turn to synthetic cathinones as a means of maintaining sobriety. This could result in a much worse outcome than simply relapse.
Synthetic cathinones are one of the latest designer drugs, and although originally created to mimic minimally-psychoactive properties of the khat plant are much more powerful, dangerous, and addictive. Since previous abuse of other drugs or alcohol is a risk factor for the abuse, teen substance abuse non 12-step treatment programs can help with preventative and post-exposure treatment measures. Until these drugs fall into the history books, everyone needs to understand how they are much more harmful than perceived.
The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team provides assistance to those suffering from addiction and dual diagnosis conditions find a treatment program that fits their specific needs. The The Treatment Specialist – Addiction Helplines team will provide a free confidential assessment and insurance verification. For more information on treatment programs for yourself or a loved one, contact the Inspiration helpline at (877) 228-3270.