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J Miss State Med Assoc. 2011 Dec;52(12):375-7.

Illicit bath salts: not for bathing.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.



There has been an increase in the popularity of designer drugs known as "Bath Salts" in the United States. These products commonly contain mephedrone, mephylone, methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), or other cathinone derivatives with psychoactive properties similar to amphetamine and cocaine. Although recently outlawed, abuse of these products continues to occur in Mississippi.


We report a 19-year-old male who presented with paranoia and auditory as well as visual hallucinations. Auditory effects included voices that prompted him to kill people. The patient displayed anxiety, paranoia, and exhibited repeated bouts of inappropriate laughter. Urine toxicology analysis via GC/ MS detected MDPV, a compound structurally similar to methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).


Clinicians should be aware that these designer drugs are not detected with common immunoassay drug screens. Symptoms most commonly associated with these substances include tachycardia, delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Psychosis, self harm, and death have been associated with some cases.

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