What are Bath Salts and are they Addictive?

Last Updated: Sep 20th 2019

Reviewed by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

What are Bath Salts?

“Bath salts” is the street name for a type of drug called synthetic cathinones, which is also often referred to as “flakka”. As implied by the “synthetic” part of its name, bath salts are not a natural substance, though they are designed to mimic the effects of an East African shrub called Khat. Bath salts are a stimulant and they can have a tremendous impact on the user’s mood. They come in crystal form, and they are taken usually by injection, smoking, snorting, or swallowing them.


Is There a Bath Salt Epidemic?

Regardless of what you might hear from media outlets that are trying to grab your attention with sensationalist and exaggerated stories, there really is not an epidemic of bath salts overtaking the country or even South Florida. Still, these drugs can still be a problem for individuals who take them – especially because bath salts have addictive traits. There are a variety of symptoms and signs that someone might be taking bath salts, but there are a few that seem to affect more users more often than others. These include heightened paranoia, hallucinations, panic attacks, an increase in their sex drive, and they may  become more sociable.


I Heard Bath Salts Turn People Into Zombies….

While some people who were on bath salts have exhibited some truly bizarre behavior, these drugs don’t really turn people into some kind of zombie. These stories are often exaggerated, and they are truly few in number.


Treatment for Bath Salt Addiction

If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to bath salts, contact us to get the help needed as soon as possible. The longer you wait to treat a bath salts addiction, you are only increasing the danger that you’re putting yourself or your loved one in.


Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Brittany Polansky, MSW, LCSW

Brittany has been working in behavioral health since 2012 and is the Assistant Clinical Director at our facility. She is an LCSW and holds a master’s degree in social work. She has great experience with chemical dependency and co-occurring mental health diagnoses as well as various therapeutic techniques. Brittany is passionate about treating all clients with dignity and respect, and providing a safe environment where clients can begin their healing journey in recovery.