Synthetic cathinones, or bath salts, are marketed as alternatives to other, illegal stimulants such as meth, cocaine, and MDMA. Users can purchase bath sales on the internet, or in drug paraphernalia stores under different brand names. Some of the most popular names for NPS products are:
- Cloud Nine
- Vanilla Sky
- Lunar Wave
- White Lightning
Bath salts usually come in a brown or white crystal or powder form and can be swallowed, injected, snorted, or smoked. Bath salts are sold in plastic or foil packets and are sometimes labeled as “jewelry cleaner,” “plant food,” or “phone screen cleaner.” By marking the products this way, the manufacturers can avoid detection from law enforcement.
The most common method of taking bath salts is through nasal insufflation. Users will dip a regular house key or a car key into the powder form of the drug. They will snort the powder from off the key. This process is referred to as “keying.” A single gram of bath salt powder will give a person anywhere from 5 to 8 “keys” of bath salts. Snorting bath salts can lead to a host of problems, including nose bleeds, sinusitis, or a perforated septum in extreme cases.