Bath salts are synthetic drugs (also called “designer drugs” and “legal highs”) that can be legally purchased and are highly addictive. Recently, bath salts have also begun to appear marked as “plant food,” “jewelry cleaner” and “phone screen cleaner.” Common street names for bath salts include “Bloom,”“Cloud Nine,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” and “Scarface.” Bath salts are man-made drugs from a variety of chemicals that have similar effects as amphetamines and MDMA (ecstasy). Further, people who purchase ecstasy are at risk for being sold bath salts instead.
The exact ingredients in bath salts vary, as different makers use different chemicals in their mixture. Common types of bath salts include MDVP, mephedrone(“meph,” “drone,” “meow meow”), and methylone. Generally, however, bath salts come as white or brown powders that are sold in small plastic or foil packages marked “not safe for human consumption.” Bath salts are usually swallowed, inhaled, or injected. The most severe effects result from needle injection.
There have been reports of severe intoxication and dangerous health effects from using bath salts. These reports have made the drugs a serious and growing public health and safety issue.
Immediate Effects: While bath salts are intended to cause feelings of joy and increased friendliness and sexual drive, they also cause extreme agitation, feeling that someone is out to get you (paranoia), and seeing or hearing things that aren’t there (hallucinations). In some cases, people have lost touch with reality and acted violently (including acts of cannibalism!). Bath salts have also caused racing heart, high blood pressure, and chest pains. In extreme cases, bath salts have caused death.
Long-term Effects: As bath salts are relatively new drugs, their long-term effects are unknown. However, extended use can require people to use more and more of the drug to achieve the same feelings (tolerance), dependence, and strong withdrawal symptoms.
Acknowledgement: This article was originally created by our friends at teens.drugabuse.gov