Other Drugs of Abuse: Spice & Bath Salts


Unsafe, often poisonous, “high,” also known as synthetic marijuana. One in nine 12th graders in America used spice in the last year. Second most frequently used illegal drug among high school seniors, after marijuana.

What is it?

  • An unknown mixture of herbs, sprayed with dangerous chemicals meant to mimic THC
  • Sold for $12–15 as incense, potpourri or fake weed
  • Smoked in joints or pipes; can be made into tea
  • Effects sought by abusers: cannabis-like mild euphoria, pain relief
  • Easily accessible at head shops, tobacco stores, retail outlets and online
  • Promoted as legal despite DEA, State and Federal bans

Slang for spice

  • K2, fake weed, yucatan fire, skunk


  • One in nine 12th graders in America used spice in the last year
  • Second most frequently used illegal drug among high school seniors, after marijuana
  • Poison control calls doubled in 2011, rising in 2012
  • Often undetected in most tests: popular with groups subjected to random drug testing


  • Psychological: delusions, paranoia, panic attacks, short-term psychotic episodes, hallucinations
  • Physiological: seizures, agitation, profuse sweating, increased heart rate and blood pressure, vomiting Rapid onset 3–5 minutes. Duration: 1 to 8+ hours
  • Perceived safer than marijuana; long-term effects unknown


Potent and addictive synthetic drugs with effects similar to methamphetamines and ecstasy.

The term “bath salts” refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals.

Reports of severe intoxication and dangerous health effects associated with use of bath salts have made these drugs a serious and growing public health and safety issue.

The synthetic cathinones in bath salts can produce euphoria and increased sociability and sex drive, but some users experience paranoia, agitation, and hallucinatory delirium; some even display psychotic and violent behavior, and deaths have been reported in several instances.

  • Bath salts are similar to spice in that they have unknown ingredients and are illegal yet still widely available at gas stations, retail outlets and online
  • Inhaled, smoked or injected
  • Effects sought by abusers are cocaine or meth-like: euphoria, energy, focus
  • Dangers include: strong hallucinations, suicidal/homicidal feelings, acute paranoia, short-term psychosis, seizures, rapid heart rate

Slang for bath salts

  • Bloom, cloud nine, vanilla sky, white lightning, scarface

In the News

Ventura County Sheriff's Department Press Conference 2/5/13
> See Bath Salts Press Conference 2/5/2013

Ventura County Sheriff's Department Media Release 2/5/13
> See Bath Salts Media Release 2/5/2013

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