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SAMHSA Report Links Bath Salts to Emergency Room Visits


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released the first report to ever examine bath salt drugs in relation to emergency room visits. The study concluded that in 2011, an estimated 22,904 cases of emergency room visits were linked to bath salts, the popular group of drugs that contain amphetamine-type stimulants.

Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz, SAMHSA’s chief medical officer, stated that “bath salts drugs can cause heart problems, high blood pressure, seizures, addiction, suicidal thoughts, psychosis and, in some cases, death—especially when combined with the use of other drugs.”   

The report stated that 33 percent of bath-salts-related emergency room visits involved only the use of bath salts, while 67 percent of visits involved bath salts used in conjunction with other drugs. Fifteen percent of those visits involved bath salts used alongside marijuana or synthetic marijuana products. 

SAMHSA’s report was based on findings from a Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) study conducted in 2011. The complete findings can be viewed here (http://www.samhsa.gov/data/spotlight/spot117-bath-salts-2013.pdf). 



The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2013). Report shows that “bath salts” drugs were involved in nearly 23,000 emergency department visits in one year. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/newsroom/advisories/1309160554.aspx