A:“Bath Salts” is the nickname for a type of designer drug that’s sold over the Internet, in head shops, and even at gas stations and convenience stores. They come in the form of capsules, powders, or tablets, and are snorted, injected, or swallowed.
Q:What are bath salts made of?
A:Most bath salts contain one of two psychoactive chemicals: MDPV (also known as 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone) or mephedrone. Both are synthetic versions of a natural ingredient found in the East African khat plant.
Q:“Bath salts” is a ridiculous name for a drug. Where did it come from?
A:No one knows for sure. But because MDPV and mephedrone occupy a gray area legally, distributors have marketed them as something else: plant food, bath powder, and yes, bath salts.
Q:What do you mean by “a gray area legally”?
A:MDPV and mephedrone have been illegal in the United States since 2010, but the manufacturers try to avoid prosecution by slightly modifying the compounds to make them technically legal.
Q:How much do bath salts cost?
A:About $25 to $50 per packet.
Q:Will taking bath salts cause me to become a cannibal?
A:Unlikely. But the effects of bath salts are powerful. They stimulate the central nervous system like methamphetamines, plus cause hallucinations, and even psychosis. Other effects: agitation, suicidal thoughts, chest pains, high blood pressure, and rapid heartbeat. On the plus side, you can get a good deal of vacuuming done.
Q:But can bath salts kill me?
A:Yes. As with methamphetamines, the increased heart rate can cause a heart attack.