What are Bath Salts?
What is a bath salt? Drug names may vary, but bath salts are synthetic cathinones based on the naturally occurring cathinone found in the leaves of the khat plant. Khat is a shrub found in East Africa and Southern Arabia, and for many years, people have chewed the leaves for a mild-stimulant effect, according to DrugAbuse.gov. Though the khat leaves seem to produce only mild-stimulant effects, the synthetic cathinones or bath salts are very dangerous and have a high potential for abuse and addiction.
Synthetic cathinones are usually a white or brown crystalline powder, which makes it appear like salt. The drug is most commonly referred to as “bath salts” because of its physical resemblance to Epsom salts, but the chemical make-up of these products used for bathing have no relation to the drug.
The majority of people ingest the drug by swallowing or snorting the powder. According to CampusDrugPrevention.gov, others will smoke the powder or add the powder to a solution and inject it. The powder can also be added into a gel capsule and taken as a pill. Snorting or injecting the drug is reported to be the most harmful, according to TeenDrugAbuse.gov.
Bath Salts Street Names
“Bath salts” is technically a street name for synthetic cathinones, but there are many other street names for the drug. A few other street names include the following:
- Cloud 9
- Meow Meow
- Pure Ivory
- Vanilla Sky
- White Lightning
To avoid detection for producing illegal drugs, manufacturers will label bath salts several different names that do not describe the actual contents of the package. According to DrugAbuse.gov, the packages usually read bath salts, plant food, jewelry cleaner, or phone screen cleaner and are marked as not fit for human consumption.
Bath Salts Drug Types
Bath salts drugs are man-made stimulants, so there can be variation in make-up of the drug, but the bath salts drug will usually contain MDPV or mephedrone. According to TeensDrugAbuse.gov, the drug began to gain popularity in 2011, and President Barack Obama outlawed mephedrone and MDPV to combat the high abuse of the substances in drugs such as bath salts. The bath salts containing MDPV are illegal, but the substance is still used regularly.
Because the MDPV and mephedrone found in bath salts are illegal, some manufacturers have been altering the chemical construction to attempt to avoid legal ramifications. Many manufacturers have developed new types of bath salts that evade the law, but these types of other bath salts are still harmful and addictive.
Bath Salts Effects
The main effects of bath salts are:
- Paranoia & Hallucinations
- Increased friendliness
- Increased sex drive
- Muscle tissue breakdown
- Sweating & Rapid heart rate
- Nausea & Vomiting
The more harmful bath salts effects are seizures, prolonged panic attacks, stroke or heart attack, muscle tissue in the bloodstream, and death. These serious health effects can be symptoms of a bath salts overdose.