Bath salts are a newer class of drugs also known as “jewelry cleaner,” “plant food,” or “phone screen cleaner” (and they are not the same as bath salts used in tubs). Bath salts are similar in makeup to effects to ecstasy and amphetamines. Bath salts can cause intense feelings of joy, sociability and energy, but they can also lead to paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations. In extreme cases, misuse of bath salts can lead to seizures, breakdown of muscle fibers and kidney failure.
Bath salts increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. This chemically occurs naturally when we feel good about doing things we enjoy. Because of this, bath salts are highly addictive – users want them again and in greater amounts as brain tolerance develops.
Bath salts are still legal in a few U.S. states (full list here) and are sold for $25 to $50 per 50-milligram packet at convenience stores or smoke shops.
Bath Salts & Teens
Bath salts are marketed as cheaper alternatives to other stimulants , making them more appealing to teens. A study by American University demonstrated that teens may be more susceptible to bath salts than adults because their bodies are less sensitive to the short-term consequences of the drug.
Signs & Effects of Bath Salt Use
- Decreased appetite
- Kidney pain
- Chest pains
- Increased heart rate & blood pressure