COVID-19 is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation.

Get the latest information from CDC ( | NIH Resources | NIDA Resources

Drugs & Health Blog

Keep "Bath Salts" in the Tub

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated.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 name sounds innocent enough, like an old-fashioned cure for tired feet. But these days, “bath salts” are far from what you would find in your local soap aisle at the grocery store or day spa. Bath salts are a new type of drug laced with synthetic stimulants, which people use to get high by swallowing, snorting or injecting them. And…they have just been made illegal.

What Are Bath Salts?

Because these drugs are relatively new and for now unregulated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), scientists are not exactly sure of the ingredients in each brand. We do know that the chemicals in these bath salts mimic the effects of amphetamines—stimulants like cocaine or meth—such as racing heart, increased blood pressure and body temperature, and even seizures, which have brought many people to emergency rooms across the country.

According to the head of the Louisiana Poison Center, at least 84 people in that state have been hospitalized after getting high from bath salts. Nationwide, more than 4,000 calls about bath salts have come in to poison centers during the first 7 months of 2011—up from 303 calls in all of 2010.


It's too early to tell what the exact short- and long-term effects from abusing bath salts are, but what little we do know so far is alarming enough. Effects can include extreme paranoia, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts, as well as chest pains, soaring blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat. A number of deaths were reported in people who took the drug, including at least one possible suicide.

Several states, including Hawaii, Louisiana, and Michigan, have introduced laws to ban bath salts. The DEA just announced it will make selling or possessing these chemicals illegal for a year while they study them further. SBB will keep you posted on what they learn. If anyone offers you bath salts as a way to get high, let them know not only are they taking big risks, they are also doing something illegal.

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.


wow thats not good

why don't you people tell the high's from these need to have all the facts

it's just so scary because you don't know what will happen next. you don't know what the dealers will offer to make a quick dollar off some stupid kid. This makes you think about how times have changed; at one point bath salts were made to make your skin smooth and feel good. now they're making it to practically kill.

wow, thats really not good

you know when poeple use bath salts they dont actually realize what they are doing to their body. they are killing all of their organs in thier body. any type of drug poeple use, they are killing brain cells. im pretty sure pople dont want to die from making the wrong decision.

Getting a [commercial link removed, per guidelines] DUI could be bad but getting hooked on Bath Salts is worse. If you are crazy enough to take this terrible drug you will be asking for trouble. Living in Maine i have seen people go crazy on this stuff. By the way it is not the "bath salts" at the store. It's a drug that is a derivative of meth. Bad stuff stay away!

that stinks. I have to read this for health class but i hate reading these things because i get so.... uneasy when I hear about these things. Its like, 'wow does everyone abuse drugs? what kind of a place do we live in?' .... ehhhhh.

I was offered this drug recently at a smoke shop as legal and to mix in my drink. Thinking it was legal, I assumed it was not that bad for me. After blacking out from this drug I was sick for 4 days. DO NOT TRY THIS!!

i youst to use bath salt untell now hahahahahahahah [obscenity removed, per guidelines]

last night I got a call from my daughter( she and my friends son were raised very close together, as we were friends so were they) she called to tell me that he had committed suicide, then went on to tell me that he had been using this stuff they call "BATHTUB SALTS" he hung himself. What an awful way to go!

I have to agree I am a recovering addict and I believe these so called bath salts needs to be banned and made illegal!! Not just to protect our children but to help those of us trying to be clean and drug free!!! Thank u

OMG I had no idea! :( but what if they come from a legal store? I brought body lotion and body gel and it came with bath salts. I looked at the ingredients they are not bad but I am still unsure if I should use bath salts. :( they smelled so good..

@Meg What a great question! The “bath salts” discussed on our blog are not the same type that you typically find in your bath and body aisle. As long as you use your bath salts in your bath water and don’t ingest, snort or inject them, you’ll be fine. Enjoy your bath!

really they use bath salts for drugs?! what next ketchup?

i have to read this in my health class and it's horrible

Are these "bath salts" something that may be in the scented fizzy bath bombs that I use in the tub? If they gave a woman a flesh eating bacteria through a puncture wound, I don't want to know what could happen to my private parts that sit in the bath water! Hopefully this is a different chemical altogether.

@Molly Don't worry, they are totally different.

this literately aint no joke it changes people

Makes perfect sense, in an imperfect world, that one can obtain such a dangerous product legally in most states, but marijuana is still illegal! Damn shame that prescription drug companies aren't in the business of bathing, otherwise this stuff would never be legal. Time for my shower. With bar soap.

Fortunately, the DEA has used its “emergency authority” to temporarily control the synthetic stimulants sold as “bath salts” while they study whether these chemicals should be made illegal permanently.

I am a teenager, and i'm ashamed to say i'm very educated with this drug. I used bath salts one time, and didn't stop till 13 days after. I went on a binge, and almost killed myself. I didn't sleep, eat, or [expletive deleted] for 13 days straight.. This drug kills the personality in a person, even after the use. Everyday i gotta live with the memories of being so messed up i let people take advantage of me, (physically & emotionally), i have to think about all the things that happened while being under the influence of this drug. I took this drug so many times in one day, even in one hour, that eventually my voice? had disappeared. People couldn't hear words when i spoke. I broke out and had the worst sores, i weighed at 98 lbs before i started using this drug, and after thirteen days, i lost 19 lbs. The come down (when the drug begins to wear off), was the most terrible feeling of depression, loneliness, and hatred of the self that i have ever experienced. To this day, (i am 9 months sober), everyday i am effected in some way from my decisions by using this drug. I was very lucky to survive, the hospital said they don't know how i was still breathing.. This drug ruins a person. It needs to be banned, from anywhere & everywhere, as soon as possible. I am living proof that this drug is more powerful than cocaine, then meth, crack, anything because i've done it all. & Never again will i touch 'bath salts', unless i want to die. This drug, is the devil.

And i also want to correct all the [deleted, per guidelines] above who are questioning as to why people are using bathsalts to get high.. Because this product is NOT bathsalts. It is nowhere close or even relevant to the good smelly salts you put in your bathtub.. The give this drug the name 'bathsalts' in stores, (gas stations, tobacco outlets & so on) so it will be legal to sell and produce. Exactly the same scenario with synthetic weed, if anyone has heard of that. They sell the stuff as 'incense' in stores, just so it can be legally sold. By law, they have to add a 'not for human consumption' label on every package that is produced, or else it will not make it to the shelves in stores. So once again, these bathsalts that are making their way slowly but surely around our children, friends, family, and workers are NOT bathsalts you put in your tub. It is just a false name, so it can be store legal. If anyone has any questions about this drug, i feel like i have very good resources to information, and my experience with it also helps to educate people. [personally identifying information deleted, per guidelines]

@ Experiencedhell:

Thank you for the information and for sharing your personal experiences. It sounds horrible and I am glad you were strong (lucky) enough to get away from it all.

I am learning about all these drugs for my classes and at my age (45) I find myself being so naive about it all. Again, thank you for being brave enough to leave that behind and for sharing with the rest of us.

Wishing you the best..... Love and Light your way :)

I am an alcohol and drug counselor and have probably heard the worst of everything. I had a client who listed every drug she had ever tried, and there were about 40 drugs listed (some I had never even heard of!) But what she told me is what I want everyone reading this to hear: HER EXPERIENCE WITH BATH SALTS WAS WORSE THAN ANY OTHER DRUG she had tried. And believe me, the list was extensive.

just so you people know, they aren't talking about the bath salts you would find at Bath and Body Works. They are drugs that imitate methamphetamine, amphetamine, and other stimulatants. THEY ARE NOT PERSONAL HYGIENE PRODUCTS.

so when were bath salts discovered or invented? thanx

“Bath salts” is the common name for any of several different synthetic derivatives of cathinone, a central nervous system stimulant. Mephedrone and 3-4 methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) are two of the chemicals commonly found in “bath salts.” Bath Salts are a relatively recent problem. NIDA does not have historical information on when these chemicals were invented, but a quick search of the web suggests that Mepedrone was first synthesized in 1929 and MDPV was developed in 1969. We didn’t see widespread use until the early 2000s. For more info, see: and

i have resently came across a mix of blue and white granules in a dish in my sons room as he has been useing maryuana i am concerned he may have gone onto some thing else can any one enlighten me as to the chemical name of a drug called ICE what it looks like any information possible thank you

Ice is another term for crystal methamphetamine. Check out for more information.

You may want to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s 24-Hour Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for help with your particular situation. They can answer your questions, provide support and – if needed – give you information on treatment services near you.

Dude! this is horrible. Ive Seen pictures in health class ,how bathsalt kills you or you injury yourself. To answer your questions is that bathsalt isnt what you use on your body, duh like what you just read they inject it or swallow.

I used MDPV (a derivitave of salts) for 6 months. I am 31 and had never used any type of drugs before that. I had a wonderful family, home, job, LIFE before this drug. But because it was "legal", I thought it couldn't be too bad. I got hooked easily. After only 6 months, I lost 2 jobs, 2 homes, my child, my relationship, my money, my health, some of my family, my very SOUL to this stuff. But I have to say this. It's not just this drug that will do it to you. Now that I'm in treatment, I've learned that ANY mind-altering substance will give you the same results. So my suggestion is to stay away from ALL of it. I seriously hope though, that they find out more about this drug just so that I knew more of what long-term effects I, and others, might be facing. One day at a time!

don't do bath salts it will mess u up.
dang im mind blowned i didnt know that
still in 2017 it isn't a illegal drug. what is going on in the world