- Is Bath Salts Aftercare Necessary?
- The Benefit of Bath Salts Relapse Prevention
- Bath Salts Abuse is a Chronic Condition
- Continuing Care Options
- Supporting Family and Friends with Bath Salts Recovery
What is Bath Salts Aftercare?Upon completion of rehab, individuals are still in early recovery and vulnerable to relapse as they adjust to life in the community without the structure, support, and safeguards provided at the rehab facility. Aftercare provides support during this time.
Is Bath Salts Aftercare Necessary?
Above all, the most important factor in continuing care and any treatment program is that the program is individualized to meet specific needs as there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
The Benefit of Bath Salts Relapse Prevention
Relapse prevention is a behavioral therapy that helps individuals in recovery:
Learn to cope with cravings.
Modify unhealthy or negative patterns of thinking that may lead to using.
Develop problem solving and drug refusal skills.
Establish avoidance strategies and activities that promote abstinence.
Relapse prevention interventions have been highlighted in research on treatment for stimulant addictions and may also hold benefits for the treatment of addiction to bath salts.
Bath Salts Abuse is a Chronic Condition
Connect with others Maintaining abstinence from bath salts following treatment is a solid goal but should not always be the sole priority. Reductions in use and harms associated with using must be considered a major accomplishment.
Addiction is a chronic condition characterized by periods of remission and relapse, the progression of severity over time, and may lead to severe consequences such as disability or death if untreated.
It is often compared to other chronic medical conditions due to these similar characteristics and shares similar rates of relapse that is a common and expected occurrence. Relapse rates for addiction (40 to 60%) have been reported and compared to that of type I diabetes (30 to 50%) and hypertension (50 to 70%).
Despite these similarities, success in recovery is not always evaluated accordingly and while a reduction in symptoms may be considered a success for chronic medical conditions, any continued drug use after a period of abstinence may seem like complete failure.
Continuing Care Options
Continuing care involves a lesser degree of formal and structured treatment found in rehab and a greater reliance on self-help and community resources such as participation in 12-Step programs or similar support networks.
Remember that rehab is a powerful tool to aid in recovery but should be followed by continuing care. If you or a loved one is considering rehab for addiction to bath salts and want to learn about continuing care options in your area, call to speak to one of our treatment support staff at 1-888-993-3112Who Answers?.
Counseling Interventions/Group Therapy
Currently--since there are no approved medications--psychosocial treatments have been identified as the only effective approaches for addiction to bath salts.
- The interventions that have been most promising according to research include Contingency Management and similar therapies, which involve the use of motivational incentives to engage in treatment.
- Other approaches for stimulant addictions backed by research include the Community Reinforcement Approach and the Matrix Model. When developing a continuing care plan it is important to learn about the counseling options available to you.
12-Step Facilitation Treatment
- The therapy sessions serve as an added support for those following a 12-Step approach to recovery.
- There is currently no information specifically regarding bath salts addiction and 12-Step facilitation treatment; however, 12-Step program participation has shown to be effective for abstinence from alcohol and other drugs.
Follow-up Medical Care
Bath salts abuse can cause significant harm both physically and psychologically. A continuing care plan may include follow-up medical care to monitor any organ damage suffered during the use of bath salts, residual paranoia, and other psychological disturbances known to occur with use.
- Some patients have reported acute renal failure for which dialysis was required even 6 months after treatment.
- Electrolyte levels, blood glucose and blood pressure should be monitored during this time.
- Research stresses the importance of continued psychiatric consultation after the acute recovery phase is over.
- Psychosis-like symptoms and memory impairment has been reported even weeks after acute hospitalization.
Bath salts can compromise both cardiovascular and psychiatric health; therefore persons who are at a greater risk of harm from bath salts are those with heart conditions and co-occurring psychiatric disorders.
Sober Living/Therapeutic Community
Contingency management interventions involve immediate reinforcement with positive or negative consequences that depend on an individual's behavior in treatment. Treatment is a long process and the lack of tangible rewards can increase the potential for dropout or relapse. Contingency management provides positive reinforcement such as vouchers, prizes, and other rewards in exchange for desired behaviors, such as abstinence from using (verified through urine testing), attendance and participation in counseling sessions, and completing treatment objectives.
- Although bath salts are a relatively new drug with a limited research base they are similar in their effects to other stimulants, and contingency management interventions have been researched extensively and are reported to have the highest level of evidenced-based support for the treatment of stimulant users.
- Another benefit of contingency management is its compatibility with other therapeutic methods for addiction treatment, as the system of rewards and punishments can be implemented in treatment plans to promote abstinence and client retention in a program.
- A common example of this compatibility is the Community Reinforcement plus Vouchers Approach, which has shown efficacy in multiple clinical trials and is a recommended treatment approach for stimulant use disorders.
Supporting Family and Friends with Bath Salts Recovery
Addiction can be devastating not only for the drug user but also family and friends. Strained relationships during active drug use may not be fixed immediately following completion of rehab and are an important consideration when developing an aftercare plan.
Family members may also need psychosocial support for themselves and receive individual therapy aside from family counseling or attend support groups specifically for loved ones of those in recovery such as Al-Anon and Nar-Anon.
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- Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Treatment for Stimulant Use Disorders. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US); 1999. (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 33.) Chapter 3--Approaches to Treatment. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64329/
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- National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts") Retrieved from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts on July 14, 2015