Bath Salts and K2 - The Synthetic Drug Craze

What Are Bath Salts?

Bath salts  are not exactly what they sound like…they are not literally the bath salts that you would use to soak in your bath tub. This name refers to a synthetic drug, mephedrone or MDPV, which is an amphetamine. It has effects similar to methamphetamine and cocaine, as well as a hallucinogen effect.

These synthetic drugs are extremely dangerous and highly addictive. People may snort them, smoke them, and even inject them. 

**UPDATE**

Since this article was written, bath salts are now illegal. The DEA banned many ingredients used to make bath salts, and it is now illegal to purchase, use, possess, or distribute bath salts. 

**UPDATE**

Bath Salts Drugs Effects:

  • Euphoria
  • Mild sexual stimulation
  • Hallucinations
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Decreased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia


There is said to be a very intense high in the beginning, lasting for a couple hours. There is also said to be an even more intense low when users are coming off of this substance.

There have been a lot of reports of extreme paranoia and suicidal actions and thoughts. Many people have harmed themselves very badly or even killed themselves while on this substance, or when coming down from bath salts drugs.

There have also been instances where people who have taken bath salts start to exhibit 'zombie like behavior' - literally attacking and trying to eat other people.

Just like any drug, this substance is very dangerous. The exact effects of this drug are different for everyone, as any drug is, and bath salts are even more dangerous because of their synthetic nature - you'll almost never know the ingredients that are in the bath salts that you are taking. Adding any kind of drug or alcohol with bath salts will make them even more dangerous and the results could be fatal.

Another synthetic drug similar to bath salts drugs is K2.


Another Synthetic Drug - K2

K2 is often called ‘fake weed.’ It mimics the effects of marijuana, but is far more dangerous. Some other side effects of K2 include the following:

  • Feelings of euphoria 
  • Confusion
  • Severe Anxiety
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Suicidal Thoughts
  • Erratic Behavior 


K2 is similar to bath salts in the sense that it's a synthetic drug, and was very popular for a while because it wasn't technically illegal because it was so new. K2 often had different ingredients, so it was hard to regulate and make all of the ingredients illegal.

In 2012, Obama signed the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act, which basically made K2 illegal and set it as a schedule I narcotic of the Controlled Substances Act. 

Drug Tests for Bath Salts & K2

One of the other problems with these synthetic drugs is that they are not detected on standard drug tests. There are certain synthetic drugs that cannot be detected on any kind of drug test whatsoever. The synthetic drug K2 can now be found on certain drug tests, but not the ones found in home drug tests. The tests often have to be sent out to drug testing clinics to be tested for K2.

Bath Salts are also hard to test for, but there are some drug tests that test for certain components that are commonly found in bath salts. The issue with bath salts and K2 is that they are synthetic, meaning their ingredients are constantly changing, so drug tests won't always pick up the presence of these drugs.

Be mindful that these drugs exist, and know what symptoms to look for. Parents, teachers, counselors, and other people in positions of authority need to educate themselves about drug abuse in general, but especially about these newer, synthetic drugs. By educating themselves, authority figures can better understand what to look for and provide more education and awareness to kids as well.

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