Bath Salts: Drug Testing for Synthetic Cathinones for Patients on Chronic Opioid Therapy

What are Bath Salts (Synthetic Cathinones)?

Not to be confused with Epsom salts or other bathing additives, bath salts are synthetic stimulants that are structurally and pharmacologically similar to amphetamine, methamphetamine, and MDMA (“Ecstasy”).  Bath Salts are often available in drug paraphernalia stores and on the Internet under a variety of names, such as “Ivory Wave,” and “Vanilla Sky,” “Purple Wave,” “Bliss,” “Cloud Nine,” “Ocean Snow,” and “White Lighting.”  These designer drugs are sold in plastic or foil packages, in the form of powder, crystals, capsules or pills. They are often labeled “not for human consumption” in an effort to circumvent federal narcotics laws.

Commonly taken by inhalation, injection, or oral ingestion, bath salts produce reported effects that can include severe agitation, psychosis, paranoia, anxiety, and other stimulant-like effects.  Some deaths have also been reported related to bath salt use.

Bath Salts and Drug Testing – Why Monitor?

Ameritox provides quantitative bath salt testing results for eight of the most common synthetic cathinone compounds:

  • MDPV* a psychoactive drug with stimulant properties
  • Mephedrone* is a synthetic stimulant drug of the amphetamine and cathinone class
  • Methylone* is a stimulant of the phenethylamine, amphetamine, and cathinone classes
  • Naphyrone is a drug derived from pyrovalerone that acts as a triple reuptake inhibitor, producing stimulant effects
  • Methedrone a stimulant and entactogen drug of the phenethylamine, amphetamine, and cathinone chemical classes
  • Butylone stimulant of the phenethylamine chemical class
  • Methcathinone is a psychoactive stimulant
  • Ethylone is an entactogen, stimulant, and psychedelic of the phenethylamine, amphetamine, and cathinone chemical classes

* The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) placed these three synthetic cathinones into Schedule 1 in October 2011, as “necessary to avoid imminent hazard to the public safety” due to high abuse potential and lack of medical use.

Learn More About Bath Salts & Testing With Ameritox

As the leader in pain medication monitoring, Ameritox urine drug monitoring provides testing for a broader set of synthetic cathinones than the three compounds placed on the DEA list of illicit drugs.  Ameritox will continue to evaluate customer needs as new synthetic cathinone compounds emerge.Fill out the form to the right to learn more information about these dangerous designer drugs and how urine drug testing can help detect these substances in your pain patients.

Reported Effects of Bath Salts Use1:

  • Agitation
  • Combative behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Anxiety
  • Involuntary muscle movements

Other Reported Clinical Effects:

  • Stimulant-life effects
  • Palpitations
  • Tachycardia
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • Chest pain
  • Hypertension
  • Dilated pupils

Reference: 1 Spiller, HA, et Al (2011). Clinical experience with and analytical confirmation of “bath salts” and “legal highs” (synthetic cathinones) in the Unites States. Clinical Toxicology. 49(6) 499-505.

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