Bath Salts Drug Abuse: What Your Teens Are Doing in the Tub

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bath saltsYou might as well take the lock off the medicine cabinet, Mom and Dad. Your teenagers already have all they need to get high on the side of the tub. They're stealing your bath salts to make the hot new drug.

When I first read kids were snorting, injecting, and smoking the salts to get a high comparable to methamphetamine, I did a little snorting of my own. Bath salts? We soak in this stuff, let our skin get all pruney with it. How could it be BAD for our kids?

Here's the thing -- they're not bath salts at all. That's just what they're being marketed as to throw the cops (and us parents) off the trail. What I found out was enough to make every mom worry about her kid's motives when Junior shows up with a nice "bath salt" gift basket for Valentine's Day this year. Let's break this down:

According to Dr.. Richard J. Geller of the California Poison Control System, the problem is what's inside these so-called salts. The most common ingredient used in bath salts is called 3,4-Methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV (marketed as Ivory Wave and Energy-1). But also commonly found inside that "instant spa at home" is Mephedrone, aka 4-Methylmethcathinone, a compound very similar in structure to Methamphetamine. It's marketed with names like Bounce, Bubbles, M-CAT, Mad Cow, and Meow Meow.

Other substances Geller says are "implicated" as “bath salts” include 3,4-Methylenedioxymethcathinone (Methylone), 4-Methoxymethcathinone, 4-Fluoromethcathinone, and3-Fluoromethcathinone. All four are derivatives of Methcathinone, also known as Khat, Jeff, and Cat, a drug Geller says is structurally and pharmaceutically similar to methamphetamine. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has it listed as a "schedule one" drug under the Controlled Substances Act -- the same class as heroin, pot, and mescalin.

Now for the good news. Experts say a traditional bath salt that contains sodium chloride (sea salt) or magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) is not what the kids are looking for; so if that's in your bathroom, your kids are safe ... until they discover the next homemade high.

Do you worry your kids will try this one out?


Image via judepics/Flickr

drugs & alcohol, kid health

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curve... curveymama

this is crazy!!! my kids are too young thank goodness but this is pretty scary!

KidsC... KidsCreative

Oh yes, I worry.  Not sure to share or tweet  in fear of spreading the news to kids

Joyce Stafford

Could someone explain to me how Methamphetamine and Heroin are in the same class as Pot? That's like comparing a candle to a volcano. Cigarettes and alcohol are worse then weed.


But maybe writing an article like this isn't such a good idea- now all the kids that didn't know about this 'new drug' now DO. So thank you, and now I'm going home to trash any and all bath crystals.

Amanda Koerner

If your kid is snorting BATH SALTS there are bigger problems than just drugs...like, insanity.

The kids who get high through drug dealers are the same ones who will snort bath salts/huff spray paint/lick toads. The kids who don't still won't.

The best way to prevent drug abuse is to talk to your kids about it and give them a stable, loving home where they don't have to feel like they need the 'escape' of drugs.

Amanda Koerner

@Joyce Stafford:


Schedule I drugs are classified as follows:



(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.


(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.


(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision."


There is a movement to remove pot from the list, but puritanical blowhards are making it difficult.  I personally think marijuana should be a Schedule III drug:



(A) The drug or other substance has a potential for abuse less than the drugs or other substances in schedules I and II.


(B) The drug or other substance has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.


(C) Abuse of the drug or other substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence."



clean... cleanaturalady

I read about this a couple of weeks ago.  Craziness!

clean... cleanaturalady

Oh and I forgot to add - I hope my kids don't try this with my homemade bath salts (I don't buy commercial brands) which has a base of Epsom salt.  They would probably get a bad case of diarrhea if they did.  That'd fix them, wouldn't it?

Peajewel Peajewel

My daughter is too young but son is 22.  I am sure he has enough sense not to try this.  How sad and awful this is.

Peajewel Peajewel

Cleanaturalady, I make my own too!  I love tring new scents!

ethan... ethans_momma06

Scary. Seems like anything can get you (or your teen) high.

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