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Drugs & Health Blog

Bath Salts: An Emerging Danger

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

Bath salts—the drug, not the perfumed crystals you put in bath water—showed up just a few years ago. The synthetic powder is sold online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of names, such as "Blue Silk," "Zoom," "Cloud Nine," and "Hurricane Charlie." But don’t let the fun names fool you: Bath salts are extremely dangerous.

What Are Bath Salts?

Bath salts are a new family of drugs that contain synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant. Bath salts typically appear as white or brown powder and are sold in small plastic or foil packages labeled “not for human consumption.” People who abuse bath salts swallow, inhale, or inject them.

How Do Bath Salts Affect the Brain?

Much is still unknown about the chemicals in bath salts, but they are similar to amphetamines (such as methamphetamine) as well as to MDMA (Ecstasy). So far, research has shown that the most common chemical found in bath salts, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), works like cocaine by increasing the brain chemicals dopamine and norepinephrine, causing a feeling of euphoria and hyperactivity. However, MDPV is 10 times more potent than cocaine.

Bath salts may also raise the levels of serotonin, causing hallucinations. Mephedrone and methylone, two other chemicals often sold as bath salts, were found to raise serotonin in a way similar to MDMA.

What Are the Other Health Effects of Bath Salts?

The synthetic chemicals in bath salts are very toxic and have been linked to increases in visits to emergency rooms and poison control centers across the country.

Bath salt abuse can cause the following physical and psychological symptoms:

Racing Heart Panic Attack High blood pressure Dehydration
Chest pains Kidney failure Paranoia Breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue
Hallucinations Insomnia Psychotic and violent behavior Death

What Are We Doing To Prevent Abuse of Bath Salts?

Bath salts users have reported that the drugs trigger intense cravings (or a compulsive urge to use the drug again) and that they are highly addictive.

In response to rising abuse rates of bath salts, President Obama signed into law the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which bans MDPV, mephedrone, and other bath salts ingredients. However, drug manufacturers have responded by developing new versions of bath salts that use ingredients that, while just as toxic, are not yet banned.

If you know someone who is abusing bath salts, tell an adult or contact 1-800-662-HELP to find out how to get help for the person.

Find out more about bath salts.

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


its rediculess
bath salts are bad, man
wow this stuff is crazy
Just eliminate the drug •~•
I really liked this article you have written. It gives a lot of information to the reader and I found out more about the drug as well. The drug seems to be very dangerous to anyone who takes it into there body what so ever. Im glad I've never seen the effects of the drug
consuming regular bathsalts the purfumed cyrstal ones would it have the same effect as actually bathsalts,so that way i know what to look out for so that way if i see any signs of people doing these for both regular and purfumed crystal bath salts.
Why don't they take bath salts off of the market? Bath salts can make people go insane, literally.
they are bad
the drug bath salts are not in the market. you may be getting bath salts the drug and bath salts that people use to put in their tub. they are both very different. but the drug is not sold as a complete drug.

@Kenz <3

You are right. The dangerous drugs sold as “bath salts” are totally different from Epsom salts and other products you might put in your bath. Makers of these drugs call them that innocent-sounding name in order to not get caught and prosecuted for selling drugs, and they also make sure to label their products “not for human consumption”—even though they know, and the buyer knows, that the idea is to consume it and get high (or worse).

where you trying to prove poit
The uprising in teen drug abuse is terrible, it is ruining people's life. Drugs are terrible and there needs to be more laws against them.
i agree that teen drug abuse is bad
i agree with you no more drugs for teens! it screws with the brainnnnnnnnnnn=)
Why do people who use/take Bath Salts turn into Zombies? Bath Salts like methamphetamine and when the person taking it does not sleep for a week their higher brain function disappears and the brain resorts to primal survival. During those sleepless nights they usually stop eating food and drinking water so the bath salt's users brain will lead to non-survival and eating the first thing that it interacts with.... You need to stay away from these drugs because I'm 100% sure you do not want to eat someone!
Very good write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website.
Bath salts are a waste of time i agree on that consider yourself ZOMBIEFIED if you take this.
congratulates the prize, a beautiful gift! [commercial link deleted, per guidelines]
People should totallly like stop doing this. it's like bad. like cmon
This article is enlightening the informative facts in making us observe the reality. It is highly efficient with in-depth information benefits for all its audience. [link removed, per guidelines]
i feel sorry for people that have bad side effects from bath salts.I was a user myself i loved the stuff but i never had a zombie exper,sad the evil behind all this
I love your blog, we at Footprints of Serenity [link removed per guidelines] are helping people find recovery of addiction.
Does anybody can tell me, for how long you may have delusion, form using bath salts? is it posible that epizodes last for 10 days?

@chris  Although we still don’t know much about the effects of bath salts chemicals on the brain, delusions lasting more than a day are unlikely. Typically an episode can last up to several hours, but the chemicals leave the system after that.

If you do this drug you will eat a guys face off naked on the highway in the middle of Florida :)
It's fckin bad man.. I am an addict and so I have tried drugs from all around the world.. I spent 6 months in Goa India doing between 4-7 grms of ketamine everyday.. never have I experienced a drug like this.. I need to go to the hospital as I have been tripping for 5 days now, it won't go away.. all myself and my mate spent was £20 on 1grm.. I'm fcked forever.. STAY AWAY..!!
So that is why some ppl. Are on Dialysis! Young and dumb
Im a vacuum VROOM VROOM
Eating Bath Salts can also make you a zombie.
how many people use bath salts in the US

In 2014, less than 1 percent of high school seniors said they had used bath salts. You can read more about this type of drug at

at least 6
I've tried E back in the day, now they call it "Molly", did it. Few times later, was told try this Molly. Best around. Did it. Well had some of the same feelings as Molly, but after being up for 3 days straight, started tripping out. Thought my car alarm went off, thought people were in my house trying to rob me. No way was it Molly. Think it was bath salt. Never again. Left Molly alone for good.
Nevveeer do this drug!!!! Literally a living hell!!!!!!!!
How many people have died in the past year because of bath salts? Why does the body react the way it does to bath salts? How come I have never heard of bath salts?

We don’t know how many people have died from bath salts in the past year. But we do know they are especially addictive and dangerous, and for some people can be deadly (especially if taken in high doses). For more information on bath salts, please visit our drug facts page at

I thInk bath salts are really dangerous. For example it is 10 times more potent than cocaine. Also, this can cause many different symptoms one being death. I liked how Obama signed a law about it. I don’t like however that manufacturers still are making bath salts but with ingredients that aren’t banned.
Bath Salts are just one amount the many horrible drugs in this world. I would hope that children nowadays know better not to stick any substance into their bodies. Drugs have serious affects on the body and seeing that this drug is 10x more potinent than cocaine is crazy. Drugs ruin lives and after reading this I can see that more harmful and deadly drugs are surfacing and I hope that the situation doesn’t get worse.
Why do bath salts make the body react this way? Why do people take them if they know it does this? How many people die annually from this?

Thank you for these thoughtful questions. You can learn more about bath salts on our Bath Salts Drug Facts page:

How many people die each year from bath salts? Why does the body react this way to bath salts? Why do people take it if they know it’s really bad for you?

Thank you for these thoughtful questions. You can learn more about bath salts on our Bath Salts Drug Facts page: