What are Bath Salts?


By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

New drugs

Bath salts.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

How come people are abusing Bath Salts?

There is a growing tidal wave of use and abuse of Bath Salts. These are not the kind of Bath Salts you would ever put in water and soak in. Bath Salts are also sold under a number of other names including Plant Food, Water Pipe Cleaner as well as a host of brand and product names.

These products made use of a loophole in the laws of the U. S. and other countries, which exempted chemicals from regulation as drugs if they were “Not for Human Consumption.” These drugs were imported without restriction because of being labeled for uses other than human consumption. Here in the U. S. they were then repackaged in small amounts and sold in small stores. While labeled “not for human consumption” it has always been clear that users were buying these packages to consume them.

The primary ingredients in many of these products are amphetamine-like chemicals in the Cathinone Family. Cathinones are synthetic versions of a drug originally found in the Khat plant from north-eastern Africa. Before becoming popular as drugs of abuse these drugs were primarily used to kill insects hence the name “plant food.” The name “bath salts” is reported to come from the way these drugs are often packaged to look like bath salts.

Bath Salts can be consumed by snorting, swallowing, smoking, or injecting. Other possible routes of administration are sure to be attempted.

The use of Bath Salts has resulted in a significant number of admissions to hospital emergency rooms. Symptoms of Bath Salt intoxication include a number of serious symptoms including agitation, violent behaviors, heart palpitations, and psychotic symptoms. There are reports of these symptoms, particularity psychosis, lasting long after the drugs have been metabolized. At high doses, these drugs can be fatal.

The Synthetic Drug Abuse Act of 2012 was intended to reduce the problems with Bath Salts. Some particular ingredients have been made illegal. Unfortunately, this is a very large family of synthetic chemicals and many have never been tested. As fast as one chemical has been tested, found to be harmful to humans and banned, other chemicals have been substituted.

More and more synthetic chemicals are being sold and experimented with by drug users. The line between Bath Salts, Synthetic Cannabinoids, and other research chemicals has become fuzzy. New formulations are appearing so rapidly they are now being referred to as NPS (New Psychoactive Substances.) Expect Bath Salts of new formulations and other synthetics to become an increasing problem.

For more on these topics see:    Drug Use, Abuse and Addiction     Recovery      What is

Terms and their meaning can differ with the profession using them. The literature from the Rehab or AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) field may be very different from that in the mental health field. There is still a large gap between recovery programs and AOD professionals and the terms and descriptions used in the DSM.

FYI These “What is” sometimes “What are” posts are my efforts to explain terms commonly used in Mental Health, Clinical Counseling, Substance Use Disorder Counseling, Psychology, Life Coaching, and related disciplines in a plain language way. Many are based on the new DSM-5; some of the older posts were based on the DSM-IV-TR, both published by the APA. For the more technical versions please consult the DSM or other appropriate references.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Seven David Joel Miller Books are available now!

My newest book is now available. It was my opportunity to try on a new genre. I’ve been working on this book for several years, but now seem like the right time to publish it.

Story Bureau.

Story Bureau is a thrilling Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic adventure in the Surviving the Apocalypse series.

Baldwin struggles to survive life in a post-apocalyptic world where the government controls everything.

As society collapses and his family gets plunged into poverty, Baldwin takes a job in the capital city, working for a government agency called the Story Bureau. He discovers the Story Bureau is not a benign news outlet but a sinister government plot to manipulate society.

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Dark Family Secrets: Doris wants to get her life back, but small-town prejudice could shatter her dreams.

Casino Robbery Arthur Mitchell escapes the trauma of watching his girlfriend die. But the killers know he’s a witness and want him dead.

Planned Accidents  The second Arthur Mitchell and Plutus mystery.

Letters from the Dead: The third in the Arthur Mitchell mystery series.

What would you do if you found a letter to a detective describing a crime and you knew the writer and detective were dead, and you could be next?

Sasquatch. Three things about us, you should know. One, we have seen the past. Two, we’re trapped there. Three, I don’t know if we’ll ever get back to our own time.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Author Page – David Joel Miller

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