Bath salts are an ever-increasing category of designer drug. The name stems from the occasions in which these drugs were disguised as bath salts to be used by consumers. The bath salts, white powder, or crystal beads often look like Epsom salts but are different chemically. Designer bath salts can be used as stimulants, mood enhancers, for medical conditions such as depression and anxiety, as well as for recreational purposes.
The bath salts use disorder may be due to a number of factors. One is that bath salts are relatively new as a market for consumers. The substances have not been on the market for very long. Second, the list of substances included in bath salts is much smaller than other designer drugs such as Viagra and Cialis. Finally, bath salts use disorder may be more widespread among people who are looking for novel ways to self-medicate.
A number of substances are now part of the bath salt category, such as strychnine, bath salts crack cocaine, ephedrine, and so-called spirit salts (basically just methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin). These drugs all come from a plant called cathinone, a psychoactive substance found in certain animals and in some humans. Unfortunately, bath salts users often take these drugs in great quantities and abuse them.
What bath salts abusers take, instead of bath salts, are synthetic cathinones. While they’re nearly identical to the cathinone family of substances, bath salt abusers buy the fake cathinones with names that are similar to “bath salts.” This allows them to claim that the substance is a valid bath product when it is anything but. Many times the fake cathinones are enough to make the person guilty of trafficking even though what they’re taking is not. Many police departments and drug task forces now classify bath salts as Schedule II substances.
This classification can cause problems for legitimate bath salt suppliers. If the supplier has a legitimate business, he must register with the state if he wants to continue to sell bath salts, and he must list all of his products as bath salts with proper symbols on the labels. He cannot mix bath salts and drugs. He cannot claim any of the proceeds from sales of bath salts as drug proceeds or another type of income. The only way to become exempt from this law is to go through a procedure that many states have enacted in an effort to protect consumers from unscrupulous bath salt dealers.
Some states still allow unscrupulous bath salt dealers to advertise their products as bath salts if they do not contain any drugs at all. Even if the bath salts do contain drugs, the state may not require the bath salts’ seller to prove that the drugs have not been abused. However, even if drugs are sold, the state may require the seller to place a pharmacist’s mark on the item or to display the pharmacist’s contact information. Also, some states may prohibit the bath salt cellar from handling money, concealing his identity, or using other methods to help him run his drug trade without consequence.
It is up to you to watch out for bath salts misuse. If you suspect someone is selling bath salts that have dangerous properties, contact your local poison control center right away. Most poison control centers will not investigate an issue unless it is brought to their attention, so if you see bath salts being sold in an unusual manner or if you smell drugs, keep an eye on the items and report it to the poison control center right away. Reporting bath salts abuse right away can help save lives.
For more information about bath salt and to get help for substance use disorders, contact a professional treatment center in your area. The Internet is a great source of more information and resources about this problem. In addition, many medical professionals offer support groups and confidential online sources for bath salt information. You should consider seeking help through a treatment community instead of confronting your parents or a school counselor about your problems. With support from a professional, you can take better care of yourself and fight off temptations to use substances.