‘Bath Salts’ Used as a Drug

No, they aren’t the same bath salts used in a bathtub, but they have been called that to allow them to be sold legally. Plant Food, Ivory Wave, White Lightning Hurricane Charlie are some of the other names. They are sold in some smoke shops and mini-marts, and are† a stimulant similar to cathinone compounds found in the Khat plant from eastern Africa. Some reports say bath salts are manufactured in China. With all the health issues associated with food in China lately, one wonders about the quality control of such a dubious product as bath salts. They may also be entering the U.S. from Europe.

The effects are supposedly similar to cocaine, amphetamines or MDMA† (ecstasy). “Agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidality. Itís a very scary stimulant that is out there. We get high blood pressure and increased pulse, but thereís something more, something different thatís causing these other extreme effects”, said a physician who has observed some of the patients. (Source: WebMd)

The paranoia and psychosis have been observed to last two weeks, and other mental health issues due to the drug abuse last even longer. A DEA spokesman said, “Just because something is legal, doesnít make it safe. “Why would anyone want to play Russian roulette with stuff like that? You have no idea what is going into your body, nor do you know the chemicals or the lab environment in which they were synthesized.” (Source: nj.com)

In 2009 the drug started appearing at music festivals and head shops in the United Kingdom. In the United States people have been showing up in emergency rooms in a very bad state. They sometimes are in a psychotic state and stay that way for a long time. Sedatives can be used to bring them out of it, but are not always successful. Because this type of drug abuse is relatively new, there isn’t yet an established method of medical care. There have been about 1,100 cases in the United States since January. Bath salts can be snorted, injected or smoked. Is anyone who purchases them unaware of what they really are and using them in their bathtubs? If they can be snorted, are the stimulants released into the air from the steam of a hot bath? If such an event did occur, it could be very upsetting to an unsuspecting person.

Image Credit: David Shankbone

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Laura Saxon
.3 years ago

Very scary. They need to be banned.

paula eaton
paula eaton4 years ago

People find all kinds of ways to get high. If smelling dirty socks would get them high they would do it.

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B.5 years ago

Agree with Lynn C. Says a lot about the state of the society - that the need to escape is so prevalent that people would risk this.

Ann F.
Ann F.5 years ago

this is a crazy place we live in...

Heather B.
Heather B.5 years ago

I've been hearing more and more about this scary stuff here in rural Maine.

Alicia N.
Alicia N.5 years ago

oh boy! thanks for posting Jake.

Elisabeth T.
Elisabeth T.5 years ago

Scary stuff, thanks for this information..

K s Goh
KS Goh5 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Diane L.
Diane L.5 years ago

Tim, you are STILL missing the point. This stuff is dangerous and should never have been available to anyone, legal or not. Yes, pot should be legalized, and I've always been for that, but to say that "banning of popular and relatively harmless 'legal highs' results in the marketing of much more dangerous substances which would probably never even have been 'invented' in the first place if the government just minded its own business in the first place." is irresponsible. Are you suggesting cocaine, peyote or mescaline should be legal just because they're "popular"? So is meth. I've seen what that does to people. Being "high" is far different than being "stoned" or using something for medicinal purposes, in my opinion. I've seen both and DO know the differences.

Carolanne Powell
C Powell5 years ago

This stuff is also known as "Bonsai", "M.Cat" & "Maiw Miaw". people are taking this highly addictive drug because it is cheaper to buy than cocaine & because people believe that it is a "legal high". I have observed people becoming seriously mentally unwell following taking it & the effects can last for life. People do not realise that it can trigger SMI (serious mental illness) which will require treatment with anti-psychotic medication maybe for the rest of a person's life. It is a horrible drug that leads to paranoia, bizzare ideas & command hallucinations.