What Are Bath Salts? Science Explains It!

Bath salts, first and foremost, are confusing the hell out of Americans.

Bath salts are responsible… for making us all feel old. Like dubstep before it, it seems like after a certain age, no one has any idea what the hell bath salts do, what bath salts are, where bath salts are purchased and whether or not bath salts are actually bath salts.

I first really comprehended this strange inability to grasp the nature of bath salts while out with friends. Inevitably, the bath salts/zombie story came up, and the next twenty minutes were spent trying to come to a consensus as to what bath salts actually are.

One person said that kids are “actually snorting bath salts” and then eating each others’ faces, and another said no, bath salts are “like fake weed,” and that you buy them at gas stations. Eventually, everyone agreed that regardless of what bath salts were or where they were purchased, kids today have no clue how to dress and hip-hop peaked in 1996.

But for all us olds out there, Scientific American has broken down the bath salts phenomenon and managed to cut through the vast amounts of misinformation proliferating on the web. As it turns out, bath salts are indeed solely a drug — which is somewhat common knowledge now — and if you have an actual large container of pharmacy-purchased bath salts in your house, all your kids will get from snorting them is an irritated nasal passage. Good to know.

bath salts drug

According to the mag’s web chat, bath salts came in from Europe, but were never intended to be anything other than a sneaky drug — in addition to being marketed as bath salts, the substance was also sold as jewelry cleaner, plant food and incense:

“It got big as a European club drug, because it’s a relatively cheap stimulant alternative, and one that escaped under police radar. Bath salts are a nickname for a synthetic drug that has recently acquired a lot of media attention.”

Ultimately, the mag says, bath salts have also been intensely hyped by the media — and there’s no indication that they pose any greater risk than any other drug currently available.