Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Monday, February 07, 2011

Hallucinogenic drug being marketed as "Bath Salts"

Hallucinogenic drug being marketed as "Bath Salts"

    Boise, Feb 7, 2011 - Boise Police are joining a growing number of law enforcement agencies, citizens and media concerned about the effect a hallucinogenic drug, often called 'synthetic cocaine' and marketed as 'bath salts' is having on our community. The drug is not new but it's use in Idaho and associated public safety issues are only recently becoming apparent throughout the state. 

    This hallucinogenic dangerous drug, also called synthetic cocaine and marketed as 'bath salt' is NOT BATH SALT.

    Chemists who have studied the drug's origins say the hallucinogenic drug is manufactured specifically for the purpose of being smoked, injected, snorted, even eaten to 'get high".  It is being sold in some Idaho smoke and drug paraphernalia shops and on the Internet for approx $35 for 500 milligrams, a price much more expensive and a much smaller quantity than legitimate bath salts sold in many specialty shops and department stores. The drug of concern is NOT being sold in bath specialty or department stores.

    This information is being posted as a public safety service for Idahoans who want to learn more about what this drug is - and isn't - as public policy concerning this drug is being discussed among lawmakers. A bill was introduced today in the Idaho legislature to ban the following substances. Below is a fact sheet. The links are recent news stories and public advisories with more information. If you have an opinion about the legislation to ban this drug, please contact your state lawmakers.



Brand Names: 

    Ivory Coast, Purple Wave, Vanilla Sky, Cloud 9, Ocean, Charge Plus, White Lightening, Hurricane Charlie, Red Dove, White Dove, 


    They are the new “legal” high. Being marketed as "bath salts"they  have similar effects to amphetamine style drugs or ecstasy when ingested. They are not your traditional bath salts for “soaking in a tub”, they are designed specifically for getting high, using the euphemism of bath salts to avoid prosecution under the federal analogue act. You can snort, swallow, smoke  and even inject the substance. They come in the form of tablets, capsules or most commonly white powder. Snorting is the most common way of taking the drug, and injection the rarest. The cause hallucinations, paranoia, rapid heart rates and suicidal thoughts.

    They can also be found with a label saying “plant food”, though more commonly under bath salts.

What is in it:

    The powder most often contains stimulants such as mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), along with possibly some other chemicals. These chemicals are made in a lab, and are not currently federally regulated. MDPV and mephedrone affect neurotransmitters in the brain, and cause “intense cravings,” prompting users to binge for days at a time. The packages are marketed NOT for human consumption, which makes them exempt from FDA regulations. Because the packages are labeled not for human consumption, they do not have to list the ingredients contained in the package. However, consumption is exactly what users of the product are doing. They have no “soaking in a bath” purpose. Nor do your normal household bath salts have any of these intoxicating effects.


    Mephedrone, also called 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC), or 4-methylephedrone is a synthetic (artificial) amphetamine (stimulant) and a cathinone class drug. A stimulant is a psychoactive drug which induces temporary improvements in mental and/or physical function. An amphetamine is a drug with a stimulant effect on the (CNS) central nervous system that can be physically and psychologically addictive when used too much. Cathinone is a naturally occurring stimulant present in the Khat plant of East Africa. Mephedrone structure and effects are similar to those of ephedrine and amphetamine.

    Mephedrone can also be classified an entactogen drug - a class of psychoactive drugs that produce distinctive emotional and social effects, similar to those of Ecstasy (MDMA).


    MDPV: Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) is a psychoactive drug with stimulant properties which acts as a norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitor (NDRI). Reportedly, it has four times the potency of methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta).[1] MDPV has no history of FDA approved medical use but has been sold since around 2008 as a research chemical.[2] It is also known as Mtv, MDPK, Magic, Super Coke and Peevee.[3] 2 MDPV works on your dopamine re-uptake receptors and can be very addicting.   

    MDPV is an analogue of provolone, which is a Schedule IV substance in the USA, thus it would not fall under the Federal Analogue Act.
When taken in larger doeses, MDPV can lead to muscle spasm and a dystonia seen with methamphetamine use.

Side effects: 

    Highly addictive. The drug is also known to raise the heart rate and blood pressure to dangerous levels and cause kidney failure, seizures, muscle damage and loss of bowel control. Many -  particularly in recent months  -  warn of its extreme effects ( paranoia, disorientation, hallucinations and a rapid heart-rate) and of the vastly differing strengths of each packet. Dangerously raised body temperature, risk of renal failure and altered blood pressure may also occur. Extreme insomnia and paranoia.


    Louisiana outlawed, by emergency order, the main active components of the drugs sold as "bath salts" – mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone, also known as MDPV. This act was performed by Gov. Bobby Jindal after Louisiana Poison Control Centers received 125 calls regarding the abuse of hallucinagenic drugs marketed as "bath salts" between October and December of 2010. Louisiana authorities linked two suicides to "bath salts".5 The State of Louisiana has already banned the sale of these “bath salts,” and they have seen a sharp drop in the number of emergency calls they receive. Mark Ryan, director of Louisiana's poison control center, said he thinks state bans on the chemicals can be effective.

    North Dakota added MDPV and mephedrone on their Schedule I last February along with their synthetic cannabinoid ban.

    The Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon has already seen more cases of bath salt abuse than the entire year of 2010

    Mississippi Legislation: Schedule I under Stimulants: “(7) cathinone, methcathinone, 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone), methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), and, unless listed in another schedule, any other compound other then bupropion that is structurally derived from 2-Amino-1-phenyl-1-propanone by modification in any of the following ways: (i) by substitution in the phenyl ring to any extent with alkyl, alkoxy, alkylenedioxy, haloalkyl or halide substituent’s, whether or not further substitution in the phenyl ring by one or more other univalent substituent’s; (ii) by substitution at the 3-position with an alkyl substituent; (iii)by substation at the nitrogen atom with alkyl or dialkyl groups, or by inclusion of the nitrogen in the cyclic structure.

    Florida Attorney General. Pam Bondi temporarily banned the synthetic designer drug MDPV that is commonly found in “bath salts” sold in smoke shops.

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has listed MDPV and mephedrone as drugs of concern and is studying the drugs; the agency currently has no plans to ban the substance. Gary Boggs, an executive assistant at the DEA, said there is a lengthy process to restrict these types of designer chemicals, including reviewing the abuse data. But it's a process that can take years.

    In the UK, following the ACMD's report on cathinone derivatives,[5] MDPV is a Class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, making it illegal to sell, buy, or possess without a license. Penalties include a maximum of five years and/or unlimited fine for possession; Up to 14 years and/or unlimited fine for production or trafficking. See list of drugs illegal in the UK for more information.

DEA: drug of Concern