Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

'Bath Salts': Cheaper and More Dangerous Than Meth and Cocaine

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

'Bath Salts': Cheaper and More Dangerous Than Meth and Cocaine

Article excerpt

The psychoactive street drug known as "bath salts" emerged in the United States in 2010 and is the culprit of an alarming number of bizarre reports of people who have overdosed on it. The bath salts in question do not look like the traditional bath crystals that melt in water; they are a fine, grainy form of powder. The drug actually borrows the name of bath salts, an innocuous product, so that the abused version may be sold openly.

In the latter half of 2010, Chinese suppliers began exporting the illicit ingredients found in bath salts to the Port of New Orleans. Sold under names such as Cloud 9, White Lightning, and Ivory Wave; bath salts usually contain varying mixtures of synthetic cathinones, 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone, and methylone. In Russia, the abuse of synthetic cathinones was widespread and existed decades before Western Europe and the United Kingdom saw a rise in usage in the 2000's. Cathinone is derived from the African khat plant, which has been chewed by people for hundreds of years for its known stimulant effects.

The marketing of bath salts comes with a wide array of claims and cures, providing users with a "legal high" that escapes drug detection, hallucinogenic and euphoric highs similar to those of methamphetamine and cocaine. …

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