Bath Salts

 What’s in Bath Salts?

“Bath Salts” is the most common term referring to a set of synthetic drugs also sold as “Plant Food.”     Labeled “not for human consumption,” the active ingredient may be one of several synthetic drugs similar to natural cathinone psychostimulants found in the khat plant:

Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)               Fluoromethcathinone                     

Methylenedioxymethcathinone (methylone)      Methoxymethcathinone

Methylmethcathinone (Mephedrone)                   Dimethlyamylamine (DMAA)

Diphenylmethylpiperidine (2DPMP)

The crystals or capsules may contain the anesthetic lidocaine. Bath salts are known by various brand names:  Ivory Wave, Vanilla Sky, Zoom2, Pixie Dust, Sextacy, Ocean Burst, Purple Rain, Hurricane Charlie and many more.

Why do people inhale and ingest bath salts?

The products were rumored to be legal substitutes for amphetamine or cocaine.  Until recently, the ingredients were legal and could be purchased at smoke shops or convenience stores. 

How popular is the use of these products?

Throughout the US, Poison Centers have been tracking calls about users hospitalized. In 2011, Tennessee Poison Center received 208 calls regarding “bath salts”.

What happens to people who snort or smoke bath salts?

The nervous system is stimulated; creating a burst of energy along with high blood pressure, fast heart rate, increased alertness, anxiety and muscle cramps.  There are frightening delusions, hallucinations, psychosis and paranoia.  There are multiple accounts of people thinking that monsters, policemen or helicopters are chasing them.  This has resulted in combativeness, assaults and suicide attempts.  Deaths potentially related to these products are being investigated.

For more information or for medical assistance after contact with bath salts, call Tennessee Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.


This page was last updated May 21, 2015 and is maintained by