Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dr. Alberto Solà

You may have heard about the drug bath salts before, but you may not know much about this substance. Or, you may know a lot about the bath salts drug, either from personal experience or due to the fact that a loved one is a bath salts drug user. Either way, you probably don’t know everything that there is to know about it and you may have questions about its use, its potential for abuse, its effects, or about how users can stop using this drug. In this informative post, we hope to answer your questions. Read on to learn more.

What are Bath Salts Drug?

What are bath salts anyway? When bath salts are mentioned, many people automatically think of salts for warm baths, like Epsom salts, which many people use to relax. However, the bath salt drug has nothing to do with those types of bath salts at all, even though it does, in fact, look a bit like Epsom salts for the bath. Bath salts is just a nickname for a designer drug that is otherwise known as synthetic cathinones. 

Also known as PABS (psychoactive bath salts), bath salts as a drug are a substance that is similar in many ways to methamphetamines. If you’re wondering about a bath salts street name other than bath salts, this drug is also known as monkey dust, ivory wave, purple wave, blue silk, vanilla sky, or red sky, among others. 

Bath Salts Drug Chemistry and Pharmacology 

Bath salts are a synthetic stimulant. As a result, the use of bath salts leads to users staying awake for long periods of time. However, bath salts are also hallucinogenic substances, so not only will users feel bursts of energy, accelerated heart rate, and feelings of mania, but they also may not be able to determine whether the things they are seeing, hearing, thinking, and feeling are real or imaginary. 

This combination can be quite dangerous. To complicate things further, the composition of bath salts can vary greatly. A variety of different synthetic cathinones can be found in samples of this drug when it is tested. Bath salts may include 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDPV) – a drug in the phenethylamine class with a chemical makeup of C16H21NO3 – mephedrone, methylone, or any number of different substances, and a user may find that its effects are quite different each time they use it due to these differences.

Bath Salts Drug Usage in the USA

Until fairly recently, bath salts were completely legal in the United States. In fact, they were sold over the counter in many forms – often as plant food, jewelry cleaner, or cell phone screen cleaner. They were even sometimes packaged under enticing names like White Lightning, Cotton Cloud, Bloom, Lunar Wave, Scarface, and Cloud Nine online, in gas stations, head shops, and convenience stores.

All of that changed in 2012 when President Obama deemed the active ingredients in bath salts to be illegal. Today, they’re listed as Schedule I drugs, but the cat’s out of the bag, and bath salts usage is still common in the United States today. It’s good that bath salts are not as accessible as they once were, but they are still a problem for many.

Bath Salts Drug vs Other Drugs

Bath salts drug can be just as dangerous as other Schedule 1 drugs. In fact, they can cause brain damage upon the very first use. However, they are also quite different from some of the other common illegal drugs with which you may already be familiar.

Bath salts drug is primarily ingested through snorting, and bath salts snorting can be dangerous because of how quickly the drug enters the bloodstream. Because the user is likely unaware of the exact makeup of the bath salts he or she is using, the effects can be quite strong and can come on suddenly. The hallucinogenic aspect can also lead to intense visions and dangerous situations.

When it comes to comparing bath salts and meth, the two are similar in the fact that they are both stimulants. However, one of the main differences between bath salts vs meth is the fact that bath salts are much more hallucinogenic.

Another drug that is quite similar to bath salts is flakka. Flakka is also known as alpha PVP. Alpha PVP effects can be similar to bath salts but even more intense. Flakka drug effects include the stimulant and hallucinogenic effects of bath salts but on a much higher level.

On the other hand, there are other substances that people associate with bath salts that are quite safe. Smelling salts are relatively safe and help to clear out one’s sinuses and can help revive someone who has fainted. Smelling salt side effects are quite mild and only include mild damage to the nasal passages if they are overused.

Epsom salt is not a drug, but if someone accuses you of Epsom salt drug use, you can tell them not to worry. Epsom salt is a harmless substance that is actually used in baths to help users relax and to help reduce inflammation in the body.

Bath Salts Drug Symptoms and Effects

Bath salts drug symptoms are numerous. Although people use this drug for pleasurable feelings, many of the bath salts drug side effects are not pleasant at all. This drug begins to work about fifteen minutes after consumption, and it can last for as long as six hours. 

Although the user will feel some feelings of stimulation and euphoria, and he or she may enjoy pleasant hallucinations at first, there are a great number of negative effects that may also arise. 

Feelings of agitation, anxiety, fear, paranoia, panic, and anger may occur. An individual may also feel chest pain, an increased heart and pulse rate, sweating, nausea, sweating, faintness, or chills, as well. People on bath salts may find that they enjoy the bath salts drug effects initially. They may discover that they feel more friendly than usual and they may have an increased sex drive. However, the methylenedioxypyrovalerone effects that follow may not be enjoyable. Due to the long length of a bath salts “trip,” they may find that they don’t like them at all after a short while and there will be no escape. Also, if the negative physical effects continue to grow over time, the user may be putting his or her life in danger, and he or she may not have the presence of mind to seek medical attention.

Bath Salts Drug Abuse and Addiction

Can people become addicted to bath salts drug? Although a physical addiction to bath salts is unlikely, a mental, emotional, or behavioral addiction to this drug is possible. Regular bath salts abuse can become addictive and the long-term effects of bath salts on the brain and bath salts effects on the body will soon become evident. 

Bath salts drug abuse can show itself in many ways. Regular users of this drug may experience significant or sudden weight changes, sores near their mouths, nosebleeds, bruises or cuts, slurred speech, heavy sweating, and regular illness. They may also demonstrate poor hygiene including bad breath and they may often seem lethargic.

Personality changes may become obvious as well. People who abuse bath salts may demonstrate a loss of interest in school or work, and their relationships with family and friends may begin to change. They may demonstrate mood swings and may have difficulty focusing on important tasks. They may hide and be secretive or they may disappear for extended periods of time.  

Someone who is struggling with bath salts withdrawal may have nightmares, tremors, strong cravings, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, and inability to focus as well. They also may experience depressive thoughts or even suicidal thoughts as well.

Bath Salts Drug Recovery and Treatment

Fortunately, there is help for people who struggle with an addiction to bath salts. An MDPV experience can be enjoyable at first, but no one wants to become dependent on or addicted to a drug like bath salts. People may fear that they will have to struggle through bath salt withdrawal symptoms when they quit, but there are ways to avoid the worst of them with the proper help and support. A bath salt addict can break free from this drug and can begin to live a healthier and happier life without using bath salts in the future.

If you’re looking for help for yourself or for a loved one who uses bath salts and you don’t know where to turn, we can help. At Clear Sky Ibogaine, we help people get to the root of their addiction so they can stop using addictive substances now and in the future. Our facility in Cancun, Mexico is on the beach and is a beautiful place to spend some time; it is also staffed with experienced professionals who will guide you through an ibogaine experience so you don’t have to struggle with addiction anymore. Please contact us today. We can’t wait to hear from you and our staff is standing by to answer your questions. Don’t delay. Call now. 


Are bath salts illegal in the US?

The term ‘bath salts’ refers to a range of synthetic cathinones, which are illegal. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has placed all components of these substances on the list of controlled substances, making them illegal to sell, buy, or possess.

How do people use bath salts?

People use bath salts in various ways. They can be snorted, smoked, swallowed, or injected. It’s very dangerous and can lead to severe health consequences.

How long does the high last from bath salts?

Typically, the high can last anywhere from 3 to 4 hours, but this can vary based on the specific substance, the amount used, and the individual’s metabolism and tolerance. Some users report effects lasting up to 48 – 72 hours.