Bath salts are a relatively new, illegal manmade drug that is both a hallucinogen and a stimulant. Their key ingredient is synthetic cathinone, the stimulating ingredient found in khat and they are dangerous because they are often mixed with other, unknown substances. Here are five things you may not know about bath salts that you and your teen can educate yourselves on.
1. What’s in the name
One important distinction to make is in the name of the drug. “Bath salts” are not actually for the bath, nor are they the same as products that would be used in a bath (ie: epsom salts). While they may look alike, the drug was only given this name to avoid being detected by authorities.
2. How they’re made
Bath salts are made in illegal labs and have been found to contain dangerous chemicals and stimulants including methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDPV), mephedrone, methylone, flephedrone and ethylcathinone.
3. How they’re taken
Bath salts usually look like a white, crystalline powder and are usually sniffed or snorted. They can also be consumed orally, smoked, or dissolved and injected.
4. Short term effects
Some of the short term effects of bath salts can include:
- Aggression towards self or others
- Increased heart rate
- Chest pain
5. Long term effects
As bath salts are still relatively new to the drug scene, not all of the long term effects are known or understood. Some possible long term effects include:
- Kidney damage
- Erratic behavior
If someone you know is using bath salts, seek professional help and support for them. If you suspect they may have overdosed, call 911 immediately.
Feature image Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P.