Drug Facts

With so many voices and opinions out there, it’s important to understand the facts.

Fact is that while you’re a teen (and even into your early 20’s!), you’re still growing and developing, and drug abuse during these years in particular can have a lasting impact. Another fact to consider: the brain is much more vulnerable to addiction during these years. 90% of Americans with a substance abuse problem started smoking, drinking or using other drugs before age 18.

When it comes to drug use, individual reactions and experiences vary, so it’s important to understand the usual risks and effects, both short- and long-term. Knowledge can be the key to making your own best decisions.

Information provided isn’t to prevent anyone from seeking medical treatment under the advice and care of their doctor. A variety of substances offer potential medicinal value, but that doesn’t negate their risks, especially when abused.

Bath Salts
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Bath Salts

Though the name may sound harmless, bath salts contain dangerous synthetic stimulants that carry the risk of easy overdose, hallucinations and even death.


Brand names include Blizzard, Blue Silk, Charge+, Ivory Snow, Ivory Wave, Ocean Burst, Pure Ivory, Purple Wave, Snow Leopard, Stardust, Vanilla Sky, White Dove, White Knight and White Lightning

What is it?

A synthetic stimulant, typically in the form of a white or brown crystalline powder, that contains one or more chemicals that are physically similar to amphetamines and MDMA (ecstasy), but whose effects on the human brain are not fully known yet.1 Because the drug is new and some of the contents unknown, using Bath Salts in any way is highly dangerous.2

The Risks

There have been reports of a surge in visits to emergency rooms and poison control centers linked to Bath Salts. Their full risks and effects are still unknown, but commonly reported reactions include rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, chest pains, agitation, hallucinations, extreme paranoia, aggressive behaviors, and delusions.2 Bath salts have also been fatal in several instances.1

Long-Term Effects

Bath salts are a relatively new drug, so it’s hard to know the full range of long-term effects, but they seem to have many similarities to methamphetamine (meth). Taking a lot of it for a long time can lead to emotional and physical “crash-like” feelings of depression, anxiety and intense cravings for more of the drug.

The Bottom Line

Since it contains amphetamine-like chemicals, bath salts are likely to carry the risk of stroke, heart attack and sudden death. Bath Salts may be marketed as a cheap substitute for drugs like cocaine, but the risks could be costly. And risks are compounded by the fact that these drugs can contain other, unknown ingredients with their own hidden dangers.2

  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. DrugFacts Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”).
    Revised November 2012. Retrieved May 2013.
    View Source
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Message from the Director on (“Bath Salts”)— Emerging and Dangerous Products.
    Retrieved July 2011
    View Source

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