The street drug is known as “Bath Salts” is a synthetic cathinone, a type of psychoactive designer drug.
Bath Salts are usually sold in the streets in a white powdered form but can also be sold as granules or crystals resembling a salt (hence the name). It can be injected, smoked, or swallowed. Drug-seeking individuals often will consume Bath Salts accidentally when attempting to purchase other illicit drugs like crack, cocaine, or methamphetamine as they are a cheap alternative and can be made to have a similar appearance. While those abusing Bath Salts are using the drug for the strong rush and euphoric feeling it provides, there are serious dangers to using Bath Salts. Bath Salts can cause rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, muscle spasms, seizures, and intense delusions. Prolonged use of the drug can lead to serious psychological and behavioral side effects such as severe anxiety, confusion, insomnia, violent behavior, paranoia, and psychosis. The dangerous side effects of Bath Salts were brought to light in 2012, when a man who had been high on Bath Salts, attacked and seriously maimed another man when he bit and ate parts of his face. The man who was high on Bath Salts was in such a psychotic delusion due to the influence of the drug, that he could not safely be subdued and was shot and killed by police. Other instances of what was dubbed “zombie-like” attacks as a result of Bath Salts induced psychosis occurred again in 2013 and 2016, where victims had bites taken out of them from the person high on Bath Salts. Aside from the extreme psychotic delusions that abuse of Bath Salts can cause, use of the drug can cause kidney failure, brain damage, or death.