Know the facts and connect with support to help you address known or suspected substance use with your child.

    “Bath Salts” are substituted cathinones, which are synthetic, concentrated versions of the stimulant chemical in Khat. Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), mephedrone and methylone are the chemicals most often found in Bath Salts. Synthetic cathinone products marketed as “Bath Salts” should not be confused with products that people use during bathing. These bathing products do not contain mind-altering ingredients.[1]

    Products are sold in powder form in small plastic or foil packages of 200 and 500 milligrams under various brand names. Mephedrone is a fine white, off-white or slightly yellow-colored powder. It can also be found in tablet and capsule form. MDPV is a fine white or off-white powder. Bath Salts are usually ingested by sniffing or snorting. They can also be taken orally, smoked, or put into a solution and injected into veins.[2]

    Understand the risks

    Short-term effects include very severe paranoia that can sometimes cause people to harm themselves or others. Effects reported to Poison Control Centers include suicidal thoughts, agitation, combative/violent behavior, confusion, hallucinations/psychosis, increased heart rate, hypertension, chest pain, death or serious injury. The speed of onset is 15 minutes, while the length of the high from these drugs is four to six hours. Bath Salts can be addictive.[2]

    Identify & address use

    Signs of use include suicidal thoughts, agitation, combative or violent behavior, confusion, hallucinations and psychosis. If you’re concerned your child may be using bath salts or other substances, the following can help you address the behavior more effectively.

    Spot the Signs of Teen or Young Adult Substance Use

    A few simple tips and guidelines can go a long way toward spotting issues with drug use earlier rather than later.
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    What Do I Do if My Child is Using Drugs?

    It can be scary if your child is using drugs or alcohol, and it's important to confront it. We're here to give you tips and strategies on how to do it.
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    Last Updated

    June 2020

    [1]NIDA. “Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”).” National Institute on Drug Abuse, 5 Feb. 2018, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts. Accessed 3 Dec. 2018.
    [2]“Get Smart About Drugs.” Find Help | Get Smart About Drugs, www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/drugs/bath-salts.

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