Bath Salts & the Illicit Drug Market: Use, Violence & Health Consequences
Funded by: National Institute on Drug Abuse
Project dates: September 2014 - June 2019
Principal Investigator: Benoit, Ellen
Principal Investigator: Dunlap E

The use of “bath salts” – synthetic cathinones with effects similar to methamphetamine and cocaine – has been associated with violent behavior, emergency hospitalizations and some fatalities among youth and adults in various parts of the country. Laws have banned their use, and this has created a new illicit drug market. Little is known about bath salts and the health risks related to these drugs, except for information from emergency room reports and mass media coverage of extreme user experiences. The project explored the types and use of bath salts and the illicit market that has emerged for them. In addition, it documented how and under what circumstances violence co-occurred with bath salts use and/or sales, and identified health problems that occurred associated with use. The information will contribute toward the development of more accurate drug education, prevention, treatment and health related programs for bath salts users.

Abstract on NIH RePORTER
Related Publications
Campos S, Benoit E, Dunlap E (2019).
Risk management strategies of synthetic cannabis users
Drugs and Alcohol Today, 19 (4), 270-281. doi: 10.1108/DAT-04-2019-0012. PMCID: PMC8152372.

Elliott L, Haddock CK, Campos S, Benoit E (2019).
Polysubstance use patterns and novel synthetics: A cluster analysis from three U.S. cities
PLoS One, 14 (12), e0225273. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225273. PMCID: PMC6890248.

Elliott L, Benoit E, Campos S, Dunlap E (2018).
The long tail of a demon drug: The ‘bath salts’ risk environment
International Journal of Drug Policy, 51, 111-116. doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2017.10.007. PMCID: PMC5762257.