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Are Bath Salts Dangerous?


Can bath salts cause severe brain damage?

Can bath salts cause severe psychotic episodes?

Can bath salts kill you?

Not the type of warnings you will find on “bath salts” or, for that matter, the types of warnings I would have ever imagined appearing on bath salts.

But, these are not the type of bath salts most of us would be thinking about with those terms.

Cloud 9, Bliss and Tranquility don’t sound like they would be a substance that might make you want to take a skinning knife and repeatedly slice your face and stomach, causing near mortal wounds. That is what a Mississippi resident did after he got high on these bath salts.

Reportedly, abusers are ingesting, injecting and snorting the powders contained in products which many of us would assume intended to be used while soaking in the tub.

Hundreds of people across the country are becoming sick, being sent to emergency rooms or being found dead after using “bath salts” sold in convenience stores, gas stations and “head shops” under a number of imaginative names, including:

  • Ivory White
  • Ocean
  • Charge+
  • White Lightning
  • Scarface
  • Hurricane Charlie
  • Vanilla Sky
  • Red Dove
  • Cloud 9
  • White Dove

Some law enforcement agents say that the ingredients in some bath salts, mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, can be as dangerous or more dangerous, when abused, than the methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is the drug abused as crank, crystal meth, speed, poor man’s coke, and ice.

Mephedrone is a synthetic stimulant, which is a psychoactive drug. It is based upon the compounds (such as cathinone) contained in a African plant called the Khat plant. Khat is a slow growing shrub and, until it was synthetically reproduced, its use was confined to places in which it grew. The stimulating effects of the plant are only effective from fresh plants and, so transporting the actual leaves would have been of little value. Unfortunately, synthetic duplication has removed that barrier to its spread.

Methylenedioxypyrovalerone is a psychoactive stimulant with over (4) times the potency of the drug Ritalin. Methylenedioxypyrovalerone is not a scheduled drug in the United States, except in Louisiana, and so is not regulated.

Abusing the bath salts can cause serious consequences, including:

  • Hallucinations
  • Severe panic attacks
  • Psychosis
  • Racing heart
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Death

Unfortunately, the ingredients, which seem to be the danger, are not regulated by the Food & Drug Administration. Officials with the FDA have indicated that banning unregulated substances for sale is a process that can sometimes take years.

Louisiana has moved to ban the sale of these compounds under an emergency measure, after over 125 calls were made to the state’s poison control center about the compounds.

The “bath salts” are being marketed under that category as a way to circumvent regulation. Obviously, actual bath salts were intended to be soaked in and not snorted or ingested.

Parents and family members should be vigilante and take note if they see any of the above products in a loved one’s possession.

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