Bath Salts Abuse leading to New Onset Psychosis and Potential for Violence.

Research paper by Michelle E ME John, Crystal C Thomas-Rozea, David D Hahn

Indexed on: 22 Jun '14Published on: 22 Jun '14Published in: Clinical schizophrenia & related psychoses


Background: Bath salts have recently emerged as a popular designer drug of abuse causing significant hazardous effects on mental health and physical health, resulting in public health legislation making its usage illegal in the United States.Objective: To educate mental health providers on the effects of the new designer drug bath salts, including its potential to cause psychosis and violence in patients.Method: This is a case report on a 40 year-old male with no past psychiatric history who presented with new onset psychosis and increased risk for violence after ingesting bath salts. In addition, a literature review was performed to summarize the documented effects of bath salts abuse and the current US public health legislation on bath salts.Results: The presented case illustrates a new onset, substance-induced psychotic disorder related to bath salts usage. The literature review explains the sympathomimetic reaction and the potential for psychotic symptoms.Discussion: To discuss the physical and psychological effects of bath salts, treatment options for bath salts abuse and US legislation by Ohio state law to current US federal law that bans production, sale, and possession of main substances found in bath salts.Conclusion: It is important for mental health providers to be aware of bath salts, understand the physical and psychiatric effects of bath salts and be familiar with current legislative policy banning its usage. Lastly, bath salts abuse should be in the differential diagnosis where psychosis is new onset or clinically incongruent with known primary presentation of a psychotic disorder.