Not Your Mother’s Bath Salts

Ask anyone, let’s say, over the age of 30 what bath salts are and you’re likely to get some puzzled looks. “You mean those scented powders that you put in the tub to make it smell nice?” or a similar statement will probably be the most common response you get. However, if you pose the same question to someone in their twenties or younger, you may be greeted with a much different answer. Bath salts, as they’re commonly referred to, are a new designer drug on the market that young people are using at an alarmingly high rate.

A New Threat

A synthetic stimulant, bath salts pose a serious new threat to the potential drug users everywhere. It’s cheap to manufacture, it is widely available, and, for now, it is legal to purchase. These are ingredients for disaster. Poison control centers around the country are already reporting a wide variety of cases involving this new drug and they are baffled at what to do about it.

What Doctors Say

The presumption amongst the medical community is that bath salts are a derivative of methamphetamines, and are being produced by illegal street chemists with byproducts of pyrovalerone. However, nobody really knows what is in bath salts because there is no way to test for these substances. This is what is so frightening about the drug. Since they are sold under many different brand names, no one really knows what is in them.


Why haven’t bath salts been outlawed yet? Manufacturers and retailers are skirting authorities by placing labels on the packages that read “not safe for human consumption” and by slightly altering the chemicals in the drugs to avoid illegality. This allows them to circumvent the FDA and their regulations. People can find and buy these bath salts online or over the counter at gas stations and smoke shops everywhere.


People who use these bath salts claim it delivers feelings of euphoria and invincibility. However, others are showing up at hospitals in states of agitation and psychosis. It is hard to tell what effects bath salts have on people because there have not been any conclusive studies done on them. Therefore, it is impossible to know what the high of today will cost the user tomorrow. With what doctors are reporting now, though, the prognosis does not look good.


Kids will always be on the lookout for the next cheap, legal high. They are much more adept at figuring out what is new and cool on the streets than parents are. Usually, by the time society is alerted to new drug trends, young people have already moved on to the next thing. It is critical to keep an eye on these new crops of designer drugs that are popping up everywhere. They are completely unregulated and available to anyone, making it tricky to comprehend what should be done to make sure people do not fall victim to the harm they can cause.

More research needs to be done to figure out exactly what is in bath salts that are being sold to the public with such careless regard. While some states have actually banned the sale of bath salts, authorities now say nothing less than a federal ban will make it more difficult for people to get their hands on this new type of homemade narcotic. Perhaps the best way to avoid a new drug epidemic, however, is to not rely on the government to protect us from ourselves. We should be more concerned with local education to instill into young people the potential harm they would be inflicting on themselves if they used unregulated drugs that they buy at the gas station counter.

Update: Bath Salts are currently illegal according to the DEA, however, due to the lack of personnel and seriousness of other issues, there is virtually no regulation concerning bath salts.

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