Topics > Other Drugs > Bath Salts (Synthetic Cathinones)

The term “bath salts” refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the Khat plant.

Reports of severe intoxication and dangerous health effects associated with use of bath salts have made these drugs a serious and growing public health and safety issue. The synthetic cathinones in bath salts can produce euphoria and increased sociability and sex drive, but some users experience paranoia, agitation, and hallucinatory delirium; some even display psychotic and violent behavior, and deaths have been reported in several instances.

Bath salts typically take the form of a white or brown crystalline powder and are sold in small plastic or foil packages labeled “not for human consumption.” Sometimes also marketed as “plant food”-or, more recently, as “jewelry cleaner” or “phone screen cleaner”-they are sold online and in drug paraphernalia stores under a variety of brand names, such as “Ivory Wave,” “Bloom,” “Cloud Nine,” “Lunar Wave,” “Vanilla Sky,” “White Lightning,” and “Scarface.”

NIH: National Institute on Drug Abuse


Drug Facts: “Bath Salts” (NIH-2012), Spanish

Synthetic cathinones (European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction-2012)

Facts About “Bath Salts”  (American Assoc. of Poison Control Centers)

Bath Salts: Class Notes (Above the Influence)
Fact sheet for teenagers

Bath Salts – Inside: Secret America (National Geographic)

Bath Salts Abuse – Infographic (Pat Moore Foundation, 2011)

Synthetic Drugs

Fact Sheet (Office of National Drug Control Policy)

Synthetic Drugs: Overview and Issues for Congress (Congressional Research Service-2011)

Parents360 – The Partnership at
Synthetic Drugs: Bath Salts, K2/Spice: A guide for parents and other influencers, 2012

NIDA For Teens: Spice, Salvia and Bath Salts
Website for teenagers

Products from MPRC Clearinghouse

Bath Salts: The Deadly Facts

Synthetic Drugs: Designer Danger

Bath Salts: Fake Cocaine, Real Danger