Bath Salts

June 12, 2012


We are hearing a great deal about bath salts lately as these drugs have been blamed for suicides and as well as some horrifically gruesome crimes.

According to James Baldwin, his son Joey killed himself in January 2011 after using bath salts, according to a suicide note.  He was paranoid and he was hallucinating.  Joey saw FBI agents following him.  He claimed they ransacked his computer looking for child porn.    

More recently, in May in Miami, Florida, a man reportedly under the effects of bath salts chewed a homeless man’s face off in a cannibalistic attack.  

Many similar stories have been reported since wherein people become violent and enraged while under the influence of bath salts.  The drugs also cause users to become delirious, hallucinate, and have abnormal strength. 

So what are bath salts drugs?  Drugs that are marketed with an appearance of being a bath salt and labeled “not for human consumption” with street names such as, “Ivory Wave”, “Purple Wave”, “Vanilla Sky” and “Bliss”.  Bath salts are referred to as designer drugs.    

"Agitation, paranoia, hallucinations, chest pain, suicidality. It’s a very scary stimulant that is out there. We get high blood pressure and increased pulse, but there’s something more, something different that’s causing these other extreme effects. But right now, there’s no test to pick up this drug. The only way we know if someone has taken them is if they tell you they have.

The clinical presentation is similar to mephedrone [a chemical found in other designer drugs], with agitation, psychosis, and stimulatory effects. Both of these agents should be of concern, as severe agitated behavior, like an amphetimine overdose, has occurred.

A second concern is the ongoing suicidality in these patients, even after the stimulatory effects of the drugs have worn off. At least for MDPV, there have been a few highly publicized suicides a few days after their use," Zane Horowitz, MD, says.

Bath salts are illegal in Texas.