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  • What you need to know about bath salts

    Bath salts are the general name for a group of designer drugs. We’d like to talk about them in detail.

    We do not promote psychoactive substance use, it is never completely safe. The safest choice is to never use drugs.

    These substances are called salts, or bath salts. It’s nothing to do with baths and bathing, but when this substance appeared on the drug scene at the beginning of the XXI century, it was often distributed as various legal substances – bath salts, food additives, plant fertilizers. But they are actually dangerous drugs that can have serious negative health consequences.


    The active substances in the bath salts are synthetic cathinones (4-MMC (mephedrone), MDPV, α-PVP, methylene and others), mixed in different proportions, with addition of other components.

    Synthetic cathinones are powerful central nervous system stimulants. They inhibit the dopamine and noradrenaline (neurotransmitters) reuptake systems, and strongly affect brain activity. They belong to a group of drugs called “new psychoactive substances”.


    In nature, cathinones are found in the khat, a plant from East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Khat leaves have long been used in some eastern countries. Such compounds were first synthesized in the 1910s, but they did not become widespread then.

    Bath salts invaded the drug scene at the beginning of the XXI century. In 2009-2010, they spread rapidly in Europe, especially in the UK, and almost simultaneously in the United States and Canada.

    One of the most popular synthetic cathinones in Ukraine is mephedrone.


    Bath salts usually have the form of fine-grained powder or crystals of white, light brown, pink or other colors. The powder can also be compressed and packaged in capsules.

    These substances are used in different ways: intranasally, smoking, swallowing, injecting.

    Injecting is the most dangerous way of consuming the substance! This makes it easier to get an overdose; there are additional risks associated with the use of non-sterile needles (transmission of dangerous diseases, blood infections, etc.).

    Toxic doses for synthetic cathinones are difficult to determine because their compositions are variable. It is almost impossible to determine the composition of a substance by name or label, because the same name can be used for bath salts with completely different components. A dose of more than 350 mg when taken orally and more than 250 mg when taken intranasally is considered dangerous to health and life. But this data is quite conditional. In addition to the fact that we probably do not know the exact components of the substance, factors such as weight, general health, user experience are also important.

    Always remember: the risk of overdose is very high when using bath salts!

    With intranasal usage, the effects occur within 5-15 minutes, the main effects last up to 2 hours. On average, when taken orally, the effects occur within 15-30 minutes, last up 3-4 hours; the hole trip can last up to 8 hours. Sometimes post-effects are felt for several days.


    With light doses, the following effects are usual:

    • euphoria
    • lack of sleep
    • short-term increase in concentration
    • increased libido
    • hallucinations
    • talkativeness, empathy

    Side effects with common or strong doses:

    • increased heart rate
    • chest pain
    • hypertension
    • hyperthermia
    • excessive sweating
    • pupil dilation
    • vasoconstriction
    • decreased appetite
    • muscle spasms, tremor
    • convulsions

    Strong doses and regular use can lead to serious behavioral and mental consequences, such as:

    • panic attacks
    • psychosis (hallucinations, delusions)
    • paranoia (extreme distrust)
    • excitement
    • confusion
    • insomnia (inability to sleep)
    • irritability
    • aggressive behavior
    • kidney failure may develop

    Also, unfortunately, there are many fatalities due to overdoses and suicides committed under the influence of these substances.


    1. Usually the dose and purity of the substance remains unknown, which means that USE OF BATH SALTS CAN POTENTIALLY LEAD TO OVERDOSE!

    2. Never mix bath salts with any other psychoactive substances, including alcohol! Synthetic cathinones are strong stimulants, so using them with other stimulants can be very dangerous. For example, bath salts and amphetamine/methamphetamine used together can significantly aggravate unwanted symptoms such as agitation, paranoia, and serious heart problems.

    3. Determine in advance how much substance you will take in one evening/party. Take with exactly as much with you, and no more. This is the way to avoid overdose.

    4. Be very careful with dosage! With bath salts, this rule is especially important because of their variable compositions. Take the minimum dose of the substance.

    5. Always dose the substance YOURSELF, control what you are taking and how much. Do not allow others to do it for you.

    6. Take the new dose only when the previous one has completely wore off (not earlier than 2-3 hours).

    7. Bath salts have a powerful addictive potential. Also, the tolerance is easy formed (over time it takes more substance to get high). Do not use the substance constantly!

    8. If the substance has a strong chemical smell, it is better to refrain from using it.

    9. Research information about the effects of the substance and possible unpleasant consequences. Remember about all the factors that may affect the experience: dose, exposure to other substances, general health state (both physical and psychological).

    10. Avoid injecting any psychoactive substances!


    If you have questions about what an overdose of various psychoactive substances looks like and how to provide first aid to a person with an overdose, you can contact the Telegram bot @OverdoseHelpBot. There you will find a lot of useful information.

    Externally, an overdose of bath salts may be similar to an overdose of stimulants.

    The symptoms of bath salts overdose:

    Primary symptoms:

    • Nausea, vomiting
    • Excessive sweating, chills
    • Spontaneous contractions of body and face muscles, grimaces
    • Abnormal heart rhythm (to count breathing movements, put your hand on the chest; count on your second hand or a timer; the average heart rate of an adult should be 60-80 beats per minute), tachycardia
    • Hallucinations, panic, psychosis
    • Severe headache

    Life-threatening symptoms:

    • Critical increase in body temperature (up to 39-40 degrees)
    • Squeezing or burning pain in the chest
    • Convulsions
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Lack of response to external stimuli
    • Breathing stop, heart stopossible stroke

    Don’t be afraid to call an ambulance – somebody’s life may depend on it. If, for some reason, you are very afraid to call an ambulance, call the parents or relatives of the overdosed person.

    You can call a free ambulance via the phone numbers 103 or 112.

    There is no criminal liability for calling an ambulance in case of an overdose. Contrary to popular belief, ambulance doctors are not required to report to the police about the cases of drug use. Police is called only if the ambulance crew has witnessed a criminal offense involving drug use.

    Before the ambulance arrives:

    • Do not allow any physical activity of the injured person.
    • Put the injured person in a position with the legs lowered or help him or her to take a semi-sitting position.
    • Ensure fresh air, remove clothing restricting movements.
    • Measure blood pressure, body temperature.

    If the body temperature is high, use physical methods of cooling:

    • Do not cover the injured person with a blanket.
    • Wipe the body with warm water. Apply compresses on the forehead, neck, wrist, ankles.

    In the case of seizures:

    • Try to turn the injured person to the side, hold his or her head with your hands.
    • Never try to open the injured person’s mouth, open the jaws, stick out the tongue at the time of the seizure.

    In case of breathing stop and/or pulse stop, start artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

    How to do artificial respiration:

    Cardiopulmonary resuscitation:

    When the ambulance arrives, tell the doctors what the person consumed or could have consumed. This will help to more accurately provide special medical care.

    Read more about the effects of different psychoactive substances: GHB/GBL (butyrate), ketamine, alprazolam (Xanax).



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