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Health Agencies Update
January 23, 2013

“Bath Salts” Abuse

JAMA. 2013;309(4):333. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.156621

A new online resource from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) provides information for clinicians and parents on “bath salts,” a family of drugs responsible for increases in emergency department visits (

Bath salts are synthetic versions of chemicals called cathinones that can induce stimulating or hallucinogenic effects when ingested, inhaled, or injected, according to NIDA. These products may be labeled as bath salts, jewelry cleaner, plant food, or phone screen cleaners while marketed as legal alternatives to illicit drugs. Epsom salts used in legitimate bath products are unrelated to these chemicals.

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