Bath salts are just a class of synthetic designer drugs. The name comes from cases where the medications were disguised as bath salts, or bath products. The bath salts, white powders, or dissolved crystals can often look very similar to Epsom salts, although they are different chemically.
Esterine is a naturally occurring chemical, and has been used in bath salts as a replacement for natural herbs such as eucalyptus. In the 1960s, James Parkinson wrote about using Epsom salts in his dementia patients. According to Wikipedia, there was a trial and subsequent analysis of bath salts using laboratory-made cathinone (a powerful stimulant) in patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. It was found that the lab-made cathinone was effective in slowing the degeneration of the patient’s muscles.
Not all bath salts contain synthetic cathinones. Some use herbal extracts instead, including lavender, and chamomile. These substances have not been proven effective for Parkinson’s patients, however. Some of these bath salts also contain essential oils such as juniper, cypress, and lemon. These substances may have therapeutic effects, depending on the oil used. Lavender has been shown to reduce depression and stimulate the brain.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century, it was discovered that the National Institute of Mental Health was experimenting with a new drug abuse bath salt called escitalopram. This drug was said to be “like Viagra” with none of the side effects. The test was conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health in Maryland, USA. A clinical psychologist, Dr. Robin Marcus, was the principal investigator. She presented the results of the research at a meeting called the Association for the Study of Medicine meeting in Washington, D.C.
The test did not prove anything harmful about the bath salts abuse; however, it was revealed that the drug was causing some serious adverse effects. It was found to cause hyperactivity, hallucinations, restlessness, anxiety, agitation, fatigue, sexual problems, agitation, and jitteriness. On top of this, one of the major side effects was insomnia.
After the realization of the bad effects of bath salts, the Italian authorities banned them from use. However, in March of this year, this ban was overturned due to the fact that unscrupulous doctors were using bath salts in a way to sell them to the public. In the absence of this bath salt ban, the doctors will continue to sell bath salts with synthetic cathinones to people who don’t really need them. People who are taking these drugs for medicinal purposes may find themselves in real danger.
The ban on bath salts was overturned just in time for Christmas. This was made possible by the Italian government, which made a new law against their sale. In Italy, only prescription drugs can be sold over the counter. In order to qualify for a prescription, a doctor’s prescription is needed. Because bath salts fall under this category, the Italian government felt that making them illegal would be counterproductive, especially since many Italian citizens take them to relax and enjoy a massage.
The new law makes it illegal to sell bath salts with any type of stimulant drugs in them. However, this does not include bath salts that contain natural essential oils that are considered as stimulants; these are still allowed under the law. This new regulation against bath salts abuse is indeed a step in the right direction towards preventing dangerous toxic bath salt products from ever reaching the innocent and inexperienced buyers.
Unfortunately, we do not have the same laws in the US. Some states are fighting a tough fight against bath salts and other “potentially dangerous” herbal products. According to the National Institute of Environmental Health, bath salts containing pseudoephedrine are currently the most commonly sold illegal drugs in the country. These drugs are made by combining the chemical stearic acid with a number of different chemicals including butane, methanol, and propylene glycol. A recent study showed that the synthetic stimulant drug was highly dangerous and could cause serious side effects such as confusion, depression, seizures, and hallucinations.
Other bath salts that have also been linked to health problems include butane and methanol. Both of these are highly toxic chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause serious respiratory problems. People who use bath salts have reported suffering from headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Even more concerning is the evidence linking bath salts to the development of tremors and cardiac arrest. This demonstrates that although bath salts may be used for relaxation and as mood enhancers, they can also be highly dangerous if abused.
Although it is clear that bath salts contain dangerous chemicals such as butane and methanol, the real danger lies in the original chemical compounds used in the making of the products. Designer drugs such as Fantegrossi, which is a bath salt derivative, have been linked to a variety of cancers including breast cancer, liver cancer, nasal sinus infection, and bladder cancer. Although Fantegrossi has not yet been formally proven to be cancerogenic, it is known to contain a number of carcinogenic compounds.