Bath Salts

It is illegal under federal law to sell the chemical compounds that have been created and sold as bath salts.

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Class of drug: Synthetic Stimulant

Main active ingredient: MDPV (methylenedioxpyrovalerone) and mephedrone (which are found in a lower dosage in legitimate bath salts and plan foods)

What it looks like: White, powdery or crystallized substance packaged as bath salt

Street names: Ivory Wave, Bolivian Bath, VanillaSky, Legal Cocaine, Snow White, Hurricane Charlie, Bliss, Pure White, Purple Iris, XXX-rated plant food

How it is used: Inhaled, injected, eaten in food and swallowed in drinks. Bath Salt can be rolled into joints with marijuana and smoked, too (called Head Trip Potpourri)

Duration of the high: The initial rush peaks within 15 minutes to one hour and can last for five hours. Many users re-dose to extend the effects for a few days.

Withdrawal symptoms: Fatigue, depression, anxiety, psychotic behaviors

Detected in the body: Yes, through quantitative testing for MDPV, Mephedrone, and Methylone, but is not detected in routine drug test.

Effects: Mimics the high of cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines
            Physical – Chest pains, headaches, high blood pressure, increased pulse, muscle twitching, cravings, insomnia, seizures.

            Mental – Agitation, delusions, anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, violent rages, suicidality

            Long-term – Fairly new drug, no long-term effects have been recorded in humans.

U.S. information

In 2013, The American Association of Poison Control Centers reported 996 calls related to exposure to bath salts, compared to 2,691 in 2012 and 6,137 in 2011. Despite being illegal to sell in the U.S., many people are still purchasing bath salts on the internet. (American Association of Poison Control Centers, National Institute on Drug Abuse)

“The synthetic cathinone products marketed as “bath salts” to evade detection by authorities should not be confused with products such as Epsom salts that are sold to improve the experience of bathing. The latter have no psychoactive (drug-like) properties.” (National Institute on Drug Abuse)

Sources:;; US Department of Justice; Quick Fact Alert: Bath Salts, Chestnut Health Systems;