What Are These “Bath Salts” I Keep Hearing About?

Bath Salts are an up and coming street drug. They have been in many news reports across the country. Unfortunately with each of these news stories, more individuals are trying this dangerous drug. So, what are they?

They are typically a powder like substance. This substance usually contains one or more of three synthetic stimulants: Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), methylone and mephedrone. The color of the drug varies depending on form but it is usually white, off-white or a pale yellow. Although it is usually bought in powder form, it can also be found in tablets or capsules. When sold in powder form, it is wrapped in plastic or tin foil. It can usually be bought in 200 and 500 milligram packages, under various names.

Some of the various names include: Bliss, Blue Silk, Lunar Wave, Meow Meow, Snow Leopard, Vanilla Sky and White Lightning. These are only a few of the various names that drug is sold under. As it becomes more popular, the list becomes longer. In order to sell the drug, it is sometimes being disguised as a hookah cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, plant food, stain remover and other common household items. They can be bought online or in stores called “head shops”. The usually price is anywhere from $30 to $50. If this wasn’t bad enough, the label usually states that it is not for human consumption.

Bath Salts can be taken in a number of ways. It can be snorted/sniffed, which is the typical way individuals are abusing the drug. It can also be diluted and injected into veins, smoked or taken orally. All of these methods can cause dangerous short term side effects. Because this is a relatively new drug, the long term side effects are not currently known.

Some of the short term side effects include agitation, paranoia, hypertension, chest pain, increased heart rate, violent behavior, hallucinations, serious injury or death. In some instances the paranoia and violent behavior has become so bad that the individuals high on the drug, harmed themselves or others. Many users report seeing monsters and aliens, which are trying to cause them bodily harm.

Many users find themselves trying the drug because they believe that it is legal and will not show on drug tests. They often assume it is a “safe high” because they heard it was legal. Unlike other street drugs, such as cocaine, the effect is long lasting. Users could end up in the hospital for, in some cases, two weeks. Other street drugs effects usually only last for a matter of hours.This drug causes the brain to release dopamine, a molecule present in the brain, which is involved in creating the pleasure we feel. We normally feel pleasure from eating chocolate, seeing someone we love or doing anything that we enjoy. These normal actions release dopamine. When an individual takes this synthetic drug, dopamine is constantly being expelled and returned to the dopamine receptors, creating the high that the users feel. The level of dopamine being expelled in MDPV is 10 times higher than the amount released by using cocaine. Because of this, we are seeing a rapid increase in prolonged abuse.

Overall bath salts are a highly addictive drug that can be bought in numerous places, under hundreds of different names. This drug is dangerous and those who take the drug have all too commonly become dangerous. Even if the drug seems harmless, it is not. The high that the user feels is not worth the risk involved in taking the drug.