Bath salts or synthetic cathinones are human-made drugs that are extracted from properties found in the khat plant. The drugs acquired their street name because they are regularly marketed as bath salts, herbs or plant food, thereby allowing the dealers to skirt the law.
Bath salts are similar in chemical structure to amphetamines, methamphetamines and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, also called ecstasy). The mild euphoria and stimulation people derive from chewing khat leaves has nothing in common with the intense high produced by the drug’s man-made version.
Bath salts are exceptionally dangerous because there is no single formula to produce them. They are a grab-bag of chemicals that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. As such, they can cause unpredictable reactions. Paranoid delusions and extreme agitation are not uncommon.
Symptoms of Bath Salt abuse Bath salt drug abuse is relatively new to the American drug scene, having first made its appearance in 2009. Users inject, smoke, snort or swallow the drug. Many popular club drugs such as MDMA are laced with synthetic cathinones to be consumed at raves and other social events. The drugs increase the body’s temperature, causing many users to remove their clothes. Individuals who die from taking club drugs succumb to extreme body and brain temperature as often as they do from overdosing.
Synthetic cathinones both energize and agitate the body. They raise the heart rate and blood pressure. Some other common symptoms signifying bath salts abuse include:
- Increased sex drive
- Panic attacks
- Extreme agitation coupled with violent behavior
- Kidney failure
- Degradation of muscle tissue