Bath salts are synthetic drugs extracted from properties found in the khat plant. They acquired their street name because they are regularly marketed as bath salts, herbs or plant food, thereby allowing dealers to skirt the law.
These drugs are exceptionally dangerous because there is no single formula for producing 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.
Sovereign Health provides drug abuse treatment programs for patients who abuse bath salts and other drugs. Our evidence-based and holistic programs target both the physical addiction and the psychological factors that fuel it.
What Are Bath Salts?
Bath salts are synthetic cathinones. The active ingredient, cathinone, occurs naturally in khat plants, but can be created chemically in a lab. Users inject, smoke, snort or swallow the drug.
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 salt drug abuse is relatively new to the American drug scene, having first made their appearance in 2009. 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.
In 2010, the year after bath salts made their debut on the American drug scene, poison centers fielded roughly 300 calls from users experiencing adverse reactions (tachycardia, hallucinations, paranoia); in 2011, the number of calls increased to over 5,000.