Synthetic stimulants marketed as “bath salts” are often found in a number of retail products. These synthetic stimulants are chemicals that are synthetic derivatives of cathinone, a central nervous system stimulant which is found naturally in the khat plant. Mephedrone and MDPV are two of the designer cathinones most commonly found in these “bath salt” products. Law enforcement officials believe that the chemicals contained in these products are manufactured in China and India and packaged in Eastern Europe. Many countries have banned these products.
“Bath salt” stimulant products are sold in powder form in small plastic or foil packages under various brand names. It can also be found in a tablet or capsule form. These substances are usually marketed with the warning “not intended for human consumption.” “Bath salt” effects are similar to amphetamines, cocaine, Khat, LSD and MDMA.
People who abuse these substances have reported agitation, insomnia, irritability, dizziness, depression, paranoia, delusions, suicidal thoughts, seizures and panic attacks. Users also have reported effects including an impaired perception of reality, reduced motor control and a decreased ability to think clearly. Cathinone derivatives act as central nervous system stimulants causing rapid heart rate (which may lead to heart attacks and strokes), chest pains, nosebleeds, sweating, nausea and vomiting.