What are bath salts?
Bath salts, the new drug with the deceptive name, are becoming a topic of conversation among parents and teachers. Don’t let the name fool you; described by manufacturers as bath salts or plant food in order to skirt drug legislation, these designer drugs are actually a particularly nasty brand of hallucinogens, a category of drug which includes LSD (acid) and magic mushrooms (learn more: Drugs and Their Effects: Hallucinogens).
In January of 2011, poison control took a crash course on bath salt treatment, as they dealt with 248¹ bath salt related calls around the country, more than all of 2010 combined. From January to April, over 2,700 have become ill after taking synthetic drugs (this figure includes synthetic marijuana, as well as bath salts)²
So, what exactly do bath salts do? You might think that this "up-and-comer" would provide the pleasant visuals and spiritual experiences of other hallucinogens such as LSD. However, this may not be the case. When snorted or smoked, bath salts can produce some nasty results. As director of Louisiana Poison Center, Mark Ryan said, quoted from a Business Week article:
“If you take the very worst of...LSD and Ecstasy with their hallucinogenic-delusional type properties, [the worst of] PCP with extreme agitation...and combativeness, as well as the [worst] stimulant properties of cocaine and meth...this is what you get. It’s ugly.”
Indeed, bath salts have led to some unsavory results. Suicides, psychotic rifle toting delusions, long term hospitalizations, and of course, hundreds of calls to poison control, all have resulted from their use.
And this is legal?
This strange designer drug is mostly legal around the US and Europe³, as the name "bath salts" allows them to be sold without suspicion. They even tend to have the warning “not for human consumption” on their packaging, thoug
h this lable exists only for legal purposes.
Want to learn more? Check out our Bath Salts Drug Index and these blog posts: Bath salts calling poison control, The latest drug is...bath salts?
"What are bath salts", By S. Cody Barrus