How bath salts can be bad for your health

What exactly are bath salts?

The NNEPC has received a lot of calls recently about young adults abusing new designer drugs that have been called “bath salts.”  These are not bath salts like you may have used in your bath tub.  Below is an image of a packet of bath salts.

Bath salts

Picture provided by Lt. Thomas J. Reagan
Bangor Police Department

These bath salts have names like Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky, Pure Ivory, Monkey Dust, Rave On, Purple Wave, Charge+, Ocean Burst, Sextacy and Cloud 9. There isn’t an “FDA” for street drugs, so we aren’t always sure what’s in bath salts or what will be in them in the future. What we have seen so far is that bath salts usually contain chemicals that are similar to amphetamines, cocaine, ecstasy and Ritalin (the ADHD medication, methylphenidate).

In addition, bath salts may contain other chemicals or contaminants. Who knows? Even if other chemicals are not present, bath salts are very dangerous.

Users are showing up in emergency departments with fast heart rates, high blood pressure, agitation, seizures, and sometimes damage to their muscles and kidneys. Even a healthy young person who uses bath salts can have a heart attack or stroke.

But that’s not the worst of it. Some people have very scary psychotic reactions, which mean they act scared and crazy and are a danger to themselves and others. Those who don’t seriously hurt themselves or others while high can remain psychotic for days and may be resistant to usual treatments.  Many say that they still crave the drug even though they do not like the way it makes them feel.

Do these terrible reactions happen to everyone who uses bath salts? No, but it is not worth the risk.  
What can you do about bath salts?

Help spread the word about the risks:

Get help:

  • Call 911 if someone who has taken bath salts has passed out, is not breathing or becomes violent
  • Call the poison center at 1-800-222-1222 or chat now for all other concerns about bath salts
  • Call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) for substance abuse treatment referral information
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