Bath Salts Abuse and Addiction (cont.)

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

What are bath salts, and how are bath salts abused?

Bath salts are a type of "designer" drug of abuse. The reason these drugs are commonly called bath salts is because they tend to be in the form of white powder or crystals. It is important to note, however, that these substances are not the same as the bath salts in which people bathe. Many of the bath salt drugs are mephedrone, methylone, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV or MDPK) and are chemically similar to stimulant chemicals like cocaine or amphetamines. MDPV or MDPK also have similarities to hallucinogens like Ecstasy.

Some of the other many street or slang names for bath salts include Red Dove, Blue Silk, Vanilla Sky, Purple Wave, Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning, White Dove, Super Coke, Tranquility, Zoom, and Magic. Mephedrone also has street names like meow, drone, and meph. These so-called designer drugs are usually ingested, smoked, sniffed, or injected.

The rate of bath salts abuse has rapidly increased. For example, poison-control centers in the United States reportedly received 302 calls regarding abuse of this drug in 2010. That number increased to 1,782 calls in just the first four months of 2011 and more than 5,000 calls by October of that year. The areas where these drugs are used have also seemed to expand; originally, most of the calls to poison-control centers came from Louisiana, Florida, and Kentucky but later on came from 33 states.

As of 2011, bath salts were the sixth most commonly used drugs, after tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and Ecstasy. Bath salts users tend to be male and younger than the users of other drugs, and most use it at least weekly. Most bath salts users snort or otherwise inhale the drug, causing a more intense high and higher risk of addiction and complications.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/17/2014

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Bath Salts - Addiction Question: How did you become addicted to bath salts? Please share your story.
Bath Salts - Symptoms Question: What were your symptoms of bath salts addiction or intoxication?
Bath Salts - Treatment Question: Describe your treatment for bath salts addiction.