Bath salts, also known as Dead Sea salts, are a new class of designer drug. The title derives from cases where the substances were disguised as bath salts. The crystals, white powder, or powders often look similar to Epsom salt but are different chemically. The cosmetic uses for Dead Sea salt baths have not been established.
Different manufacturers are marketing formulations that do not contain any of the traditional elements that make up bath salts. Instead, these products claim to be made from a “homeopathic” source, and “pathogen free”. But how can a bath salt manufacturer market something that is chemically similar to many types of over-the-counter medicines? This article will explore some of the chemicals that may be found in bath salts.
cathinone. cathinone has been used as a pharmaceutical drug since the 1970s. It was marketed under several names, including “speed”, “cocaine”, and “date rape”. The trade off for the popularity of cathinone was the removal of its euphoric effect, and the ability to produce “bath salt” by substituting the alcohol with CNA’s (or coding agents).
Mephedrone. Mephedrone is similar to meth, amphetamines, and ecstasy, in that it also produces immediate pleasure by increasing heart rate and brain activity. However, ephedrine is an illegal Schedule II drugs. Because it produces side effects similar to those of cocaine, and because no one knows exactly how it acts on the body, it is very dangerous. Mephedrone abusers are most often intravenous users, due to the extreme dangers of driving while high on it. When taken in pill form, ephedrine creates a “high,” but it quickly loses its kick when taken in water or other beverages.
Synthetic cathinones are the most well-known of the bath salts. The cathinone family contains numerous substances, including both sexes of moths, as well as cathinone and ephedrine, which are closely related. All of these synthetic cathinones can produce different types of euphoria, from a high to a depraved state. Unfortunately, all synthetic cathinones have the potential to cause serious health problems, including liver failure, kidney failure, seizures, and even death. Many users take the drug in combination with drugs such as meth and cocaine, in an attempt to produce a more powerful high.
Cocaine. Cocaine is probably the most popularly abused drug in the United States. Often referred to by the name cocaine, it is actually derived from the coca plant, which is grown primarily in the South American and Caribbean regions. The drug is highly addictive and can be snorted, injected, or smoked. Cocaine acts as a powerful stimulant, but because it has no chemical composition that can be detected by the body, it presents little danger of intoxication in its pure form.
Mephedrone. Mephedrone belongs to the cathinone family of drugs. This substance, like cocaine, meth, and meth addiction, presents very serious dangers of addiction when used in combination with other substances. Mephedrone produces similar long-term physical effects as those of ephedrine, but much faster. In fact, it takes about five hours for a typical high to be achieved, and users can experience up to four hours of powerful, long-lasting euphoria.
Because the immediate euphoria produced by bath salts is so powerful, a high can last for several hours. Once the effects of the drug wear off, users can experience strong feelings of irritability, anxiety, paranoia, nausea, and diarrhea. Combined with feelings of anxiety and irritability, this can result in panic attacks, aggressive behavior, and depression. If these things are not treated, they can lead to a chronic lack of energy and mental instability that can lead to long-term problems such as substance abuse and depression. The most common side effect of long-term use is an increase in heart rate and blood pressure. These effects can cause death in extremely rare instances, if they are not addressed quickly.