Drug War

Navy Video Portrays 'Bath Salts' As Utterly Disastrous Yet Mysteriously Appealing


The tag line for a new U.S. Navy video warns, "BATH SALTS: It's not a fad…It's a NIGHTMARE." Can't it be both, like mullets or platform shoes? In fact, the video's basic credibility problem is that it presents the quasi-legal stimulants as both increasingly popular and uniformly unpleasant. The video (below) opens with a young seaman receiving a package, snorting some of the white powder it contains, and heading out to a bowling alley, puking off a bridge on the way. At the bowling alley, he punches his girlfriend in the face because she suddenly looks like a demon. He runs back to his residence, where his roommate also looks like a demon. Eventually he is taken, unconscious, to a hospital, where he is later strapped down, kicking and screaming, and injected with a large hypodermic needle. The seaman's screams fade to the calm, soothing voice of Lt. George Loeffler, a psychiatry resident at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, who tells us:

When people are using bath salts, they're not their normal selves. They're angrier. They're erratic. They're violent. They're unpredictable. People will start acting really weird. People will start seeing things that aren't there, believing things that aren't true. Some people describe people spying on them, trying to kill them in their families. Other people talk about seeing demons and things that are trying to kill them. One of the most concerning things about bath salts is hallucinations, these paranoid delusions; they will last long after the intoxication is gone. What we found with some of our patients…is that days, if not weeks, after the last time they used bath salts, the paranoia…stick[s] around….

Physiological effects of bath salts include chest pain, high blood pressure, fast heart rate, difficulty breathing, brain swelling, seizures, something called "excitatory delirium," where people lose control, and there are a number of instances of death directly related to bath salts….

Bath salts not only will jack up your family and your career; it'll jack up your mind and your body.

As usual in anti-drug propaganda, the most extreme experiences are presented as typical, leaving the audience puzzled as to why anyone would ever try this nasty stuff. Although the drug users encountered by a hospital-based psychiatrist are hardly a representative sample, Loeffler does not hesitate to suggest that if you are stupid enough to snort bath salts, you will hallucinate, punch your girlfriend in the face, and end up strapped down in a hospital for days or weeks, raving about the dark forces out to get you. If you're lucky.

Frank Owen's experience with bath salts (specifically mephedrone, a.k.a. 4-Methylmethcathinone), which he snorted while researching his recent Playboy story about the "Miami Zombie," was somewhat different:

At first, other than a tightness in my chest and a slight numbness in my limbs, I didn't feel anything. But then my central nervous system lit up and I became as buoyant as foam floating on the surface of a fast-moving river.

Colors became more vivid and music more distinct. It was as if I could reach out and caress the texture of the sound coming from the speakers. I felt energized yet strangely relaxed. The drug that mephedrone is most commonly compared to is ecstasy, and I definitely felt a sense of increased connectedness to the other partygoers. My wife, who refused to take bath salts, saw it differently. "If you want to fuck, let's go home and fuck, but stop stroking me," she said. "It's really irritating."

As far as I know, Owen did not respond by punching her in the face. Mephedrone experiences described at Erowid vary widely, including good, bad, and indifferent responses, but there are more reports similar to Owen's than there are cautionary tales featuring paranoia, let alone violence or hospitalization. This is not a random sample either, but it is a more accurate reflection of reality than Loeffler's presentation, since it gives you a sense of why people might want to use a drug that supposedly ruins your mind, body, family, and career.

At one point Loeffler concedes this sort of thing does not happen to everyone who uses bath salts. "Some people may be fine after taking one," he says, "but they don't know what's going to be in that next packet….You have no idea between two packets of bath salts what compounds are in it, what concentration it is." That kind of uncertainty is a result of government policy, since these stimulants, even if they are not completely prohibited (as mephedrone and MDPV now are under federal law), cannot be legally sold for human consumption. Hence buyers face quality and consistency problems similar to those seen in a black market. Speaking of which, the rise of these products would be inexplicable were it not for the legal restrictions on more familiar stimulants such as cocaine and amphetamines. So to the extent that some of them really are less predictable or more dangerous than the banned substances for which they substitute, the government is perversely pushing drug users toward riskier behavior.

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  1. What, no faces were eaten in this video? Why are they watering down the dangers of these bath salts? Everyone knows that when you do bath salts, you eat face. Do they hate the children?

  2. Bath salts not only will jack up your bath salts and your career; it’ll jack up your mind and your body.


    1. Clearly the copy editor was using bath salts when he was using bath salts.

    2. the moar times one mentions teh baath saltz, teh moar scarier ’tis, methinks.

    3. Sorry. Transcription error. I’ve fixed it.

    4. JACKED AS FUARK!!!!

    5. Bath salts not only will jack up your bath salts and your career; it’ll jack up your mind and your body

      Meh. Sounds a little life reefer madness type drug warrior propaganda to me. Nothing new to see here.

      You would think after the lies they told about pot, that no one would blindly take their word about anything.

      But anytime one of these stories come out, the media just runs with it, no questions asked, no research done, just outright hyperbole, or worse.

      1. The only way to debunk their lies is to break the law and try the drugs yourself, or talk with a lawbreaker who has.

        Problem with that is that once someone has used illegal drugs, then their judgment and perception is permanently compromised. They simply cannot be trusted or believed on anything drug related. The only people who can speak with authority about illegal drugs are those who have never actually used them.


        2. a substantial # of speakers in govt. sponsored programs are REFORMED addicts. few people can be more self-righteous and anti-drug than FORMER drug users. holds true for smokers, too

  3. Bath salts GF? I’d hit it.

    1. I’d like to write a hit single called “Bath Salts Girlfriend.”

      1. It will be banned as hate speech.

        1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xbO3geSIEU

          I heard a pOEliceman say “just another overdose”

          JUST ANOTHER OVERDOSE!?!?!?!

    2. I know right. I had no desire to try these but I totally want to have sex with a demon girl.

  4. When people are using bath salts, they’re not their normal selves. They’re angrier. They’re erratic. They’re violent. They’re unpredictable. People will start acting really weird. People will start seeing things that aren’t there, believing things that aren’t true.

    Um, were they studying the effects of bath salts during the election season, because…

    1. “With politics, the following side effects may occur…”

  5. What spirit does one mix with bath salts?
    asking for a friend.

    1. I don’t think it really matters when you’re tripping balls like that. Whatevers in the house.

    2. Furniture polish.

    3. try hand sanitizer…..the media been talking it up lately………

  6. I never got to try PCP, but I did talk with a few people who did. They said it was a very mellow high, which is not surprising considering it was once mass produced as a large animal tranquilizer.

    Makes me wonder how many of those elephants an rhinos that were tranked on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom were wacked on a drug that’s supposed to cause rage and give supernatural strength.

    Once you start putting things together, government lies unravel like a cheap sweater.

      1. Cyril: Oh, I think we’re pretty diverse.
        Lana: Ha! Please…
        Archer: What? You’re black… ish…
        Lana: “ISH?”
        Archer: Well, what’s the word for it, Lana? You freaked out when I said “Quadroon!”
        Lana: Imagine that!
        Archer: You imagine it!
        Malory: Both of you, imagine shutting up!

      2. Sweet. I was just now wondering if you we’re going to change your handle.

        I probably should spend less time here.

    1. “supposed to”?

      it is a HORSE tranquilizer. people aren’t horses and we have different chemistry, to put it mildly


      few things are MORE established than that PCP does cause rage.

      is the relative frequency of such occurrences (rage, crazy-ass behavior) overemphasized? yes

      does it exist?


      PCP is bad shit. it’s very dose dependant, though. at lower doses you don’t see the mass fuckupitude you do at higher doses. but it is not lies. the documentation of its effects is extensive

      there is a nice list of sources in the wiki article. it is NOT hype. reefer madness was hype. PCP reports are generaly bona fide. it is a fucked up drug in humans

      1. erowid.org has some nice PCP info also.

        it is one thing to doubt the govt. do it. but some things the govt. spouts is actually true. PCP is a fucked up drug. the govt. is not lying about it. most of the reports and evidence are medical texts and reports, btw, not generated from govt. sources

        1. the govt. is not lying about it.

          I have yet to see an article where a cop was quoted saying that PCP was a factor where the following toxicology report confirmed the presence of PCP. And I look for that information every single time I read about “PCP”. So yes. They’re lying. Constantly.

      2. I don’t believe that any drug causes rage. A drug may amplify what is already there, but to actually cause it? I’m not buying it.
        That’s the kind of shit that lawyers use to absolve their clients of their actions. Blame it on the drug, not the person.

        “The devil drug made him do it! Drown Imprison the witch dealer before anyone else falls victim to the curse drug! Think of the children!”

        Some things never change.

        1. we’re devolving into quibbling.

          the fact is that people ON PCP (some) tend to exhibit extreme rage. whether you want to use the word ’cause’ or ‘amplify’ or whatever, the point is that people on pot, heroin, etc. don’t tend to exhibit rage and crazy ass violent behavior

          people on PCP do

      3. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Will definitely not do it again, but not because of “rage” issues. It was more like a super sensory deprivation episode(s).

        Too Fucked Up. Maybe if I was a horse…

  7. “If you want to fuck, let’s go home and fuck, but stop stroking me,” she said. “It’s really irritating.”

    I just can’t stop laughing at this line. Must be the bath saltz.

    1. I couldn’t stop laughing either. Would you like to go home with me and fuck?

      1. This is why we can’t have nice girls around here.

  8. People will start seeing things that aren’t there, believing things that aren’t true.

    Somebody put teh Bath Saltz in Congress’ water coolers!

  9. stop stroking me,” she said. “It’s really irritating.”

    Doin it RONG!

  10. “the government is perversely pushing drug users toward riskier behavior.”

    OK, I believe that the results of bath salts may vary…..but how do you get from that to- the government made me do it? I call bullshit.

    1. .but how do you get from that to- the government made me do it?

      You don’t.

      I call bullshit.

      No. You spout it.

      The point is that the quality and consistency of bath salts are less than ideal, and that is because no one can legally produce the stuff in a high quality and consistent manner.
      Then there is the fact that less harmful drugs like amphetamine and cocaine are illegal, which drives users to other things like bath salts.

      As far as government making anyone do anything? No one is arguing that except your straw man.

      1. there are a host of legal drugs that have decent effect and have nowhere near the problematic aspects that bath salts have.

        kava kava and kratom are two I can think of offhand.

        neither have seen the kind of negative “trips” like we are seeing with bath salts.

        I have already seen it in the field (negatively) and have spoken to two harborview ER docs who have seen a LOT in a dozen or so years, and bath salts are raising their eyebrows with some of the negative responses they have seen.

        NOTHING is as bad as the govt. says it is, but I think people who are discounting the negative reports about bath salts are doing themselves a disservice. the WOD has seen some ridiculous propaganda, but bath salts are imo in the rare position of being pretty fucking bad, and close to as bad as they are reported to be.

        I say that as somebody that thinks pot, cocaine, opioids etc. are pretty benign (obviously if one becomes addicted to the latter it can become very bad, but in itself used in moderation is not bad)

        1. Is it a problem with bath salts, or a problem with people who choose to hang out at head shops where they sell the stuff?

          I was in and out of that crowd. Most of them are idiots to begin with.

          Idiots don’t need drugs to do stupid shit. But when you give them drugs, they can do some really stupid shit.

          Drugs don’t make people into idiots, but idiots can become uber idiots when they use drugs.

          1. yes. they can tend to amplify what’s already there.

            but again, we don’t see this shit with heroin, or cocaine, or pot etc.

            we DO see it with bath salts. drugs affect brain chemistry. it’s a PSYCHOACTIVE drug. go to the references at erowid or Wikipedia or read some medical articles. it affects brain chemistry which means behavioral changes.

            it doesn’t absolve the user of guilt (imo), but clearly people do fucked up shit on bath salts. not all who use obviously. but a substantial enough %age such that ER doc’s etc. and medical journals are noticing. it’s not made up, and it’s not hype

        2. Kratom is awesome, but has received a lot of false, downright stupid publicity already from our retarded media. And as a result, has already been banned by some states.

          It’s the dried leaf of a tree with a mild stimulating euphoric effect.

          Someone posted some nonsense that they read someone about it, on another thread today, and it claimed opiate type effects, hallucinations and all sorts of other bogus propaganda.

          I don’t know what the person was consuming that experienced those effects, but it sure the hell wasn’t kratom, I’ve used it a lot, and never experienced any such thing as that. I would believe it just as much if a person told me they hallucinated from drinking coffee.

          1. yea i saw that post, looked interesting. i wonder if people who have anxiety are sensitive to it like they can be to caffeine. i could start making decaf coffee and throw some of that in there, and test it for myself. do you know if california is one of those states that banned it?

            1. Indiana, iowa, Louisiana and mass are the states that have taken action last I checked.

              California is such a statist nightmare, you’d probably be better off checking the penal code first.

            2. I don’t know. Indiana banned it, I do know that. Most states it is still legal. There is info online regarding that. I just haven’t looked at it in a while. Haven’t had any Kratom for a few months now, but I miss it.

              Kratom will make you nauseous if you take too much, but coffee does the exact same thing to me.

              1. opioids in general cause nausea. many docs prescribe an anti-nausea med when they prescribe opioids.

          2. kratom IS a bonafide opioid. that’s a matter of chemistry. it’s an agonist to opioid receptors.

            it’s not debatable. it’s a mellow opioid, but it’s an opioid.

            opiate effects? yes. hallucinations? not in any report I’ve seen.

            my only point is its legal and it has a pretty decent effect for a legal drug. its side effects are pretty minimal, too.


            it IS an opioid.

            1. The effect it has on me is mild euphoria and stimulating effect, increased attention span. It’s very mild. I wouldn’t think that anything that mild could be called an opiate like effect.

              I have heard if you take massive doses that it can induce opiate life effects, but for one thing, that isn’t what I was looking for, I was looking for the wake up and be alert effect. For me anyway, more than a couple of grams of the powdered leaf produces nausea, so no point in that.

              1. nausea can be mitigated with anti-nausea drugs, like I said, good doctors will prescribe such meds along with opioid drugs. my dr has for me when I was on opioids. my point is regardless of subjective effect, as a matter of chemistry – its an opioid

                not debatable. if it is an agonist for opioid receptors, which it is, it’s an opioid

                a substantial # of users at erowid report feeling opioid like effects.

  11. What I learned is that taking bath salts is like being in every dubstep video ever.

    1. Are you the offspring of Heroic Mullato?

      1. It’s a reference from earlier this afternoon.

        1. I missed that.

          1. The details are hazy to me, because I had just insufflated a line of cocaine from within the cleavage of a transgendered Brazilian prostitute’s breasts, but it started with nicole and I discussing the pros and cons of butt sex, which somehow led me to the admission that I, in fact, possess only 1/4 African blood quantum.

            1. That’s something.

        2. It’s all yours! I was just keeping it safe.

          1. Thanks, man. I appreciate it.

              1. My name is Levardis Burton!

                1. and you don’t have to take my word for it!

  12. ” People will start seeing things that aren’t there, believing things that aren’t true. Some people describe people spying on them, trying to kill them in their families. Other people talk about seeing demons and things that are trying to kill them”

    ugh sounds like me on a normal day. I don’t think I would ever even try something hallucinogenic, even pot gives me panic attacks. I’ll stick with alcohol.

    I have been wanting to try ecstasy though, i hear it has powerful anti-anxiety effects, if any of you guys have ever tried it what did you think? could you describe the experience for me?

    1. Ecstasy is one of the few that I’ve never tried.
      Mescaline was my favorite hallucinogen, but I wouldn’t recommend any drug of that nature if pot puts you in a panic. Especially since hallucinogens are a big time commitment. It’s not like they wear off in a few hours. They can last all day and then some.

      1. If he’s actually a hypochondriac he’s probably going to hate most drugs, besides benzos and alcohol.

        1. “If he’s actually a hypochondriac he’s probably going to hate most drugs, besides benzos and alcohol.”

          what about ecstasy? or opiates? i havent tried either, but I’m more open to them than hallucinogens.

          1. in general though i think you’re right.

              1. bath salts are in the rare position ime (both in the field – twice) and from talking to ER docs of being arguably nearly as bad as they say. granted, there are a host of drugs that fall under the name bath salts and some are much worse than others, but it’s certainly not (mostly) benign like pot or cocaine etc.

                considering how rare their usage is (compared to pot, cocaine, etc.) we are seeing some pretty intense AER’s come down the line

                imo, if all recreational drugs were legalized overnight, bath salts would probably be amongst those i’d be least likely to even consider. the problem with the war on drugs propaganda is that when a drug comes along that really DOES suck badly, nobody believe the report because they said that about so many mostly mellow drugs eg. pot, cocaine, etc. that are not that problematic at all.

                ER docs aren’t prone to hype ime, and from what I was told by 2 harborview ER docs, bath salts are bad joujou. granted, they only see the bad cases, not the people having fun, but they are seeing some BAD cases, and stuff they have not seen with far more popular drugs like coke, pot, heroin, etc.

          2. Opiates just make the mind numb. Boring if you ask me.

            1. rubbish. some of the greatest works of art and music have been created by poets, writers, and artists under the influence of opioids. numerous of them have recounted how their creative juices flow when on opiates.

              while they are depressants, not stimulants, they are hardly mind numbing for the artistic amongst us

            2. Opiates make me projectile vomit, that’s about it. So really, not much draw there for me.

              I made the mistake of letting a friend give me oxycontin, or something like that one time when I hurt my lower back. Bad, bad idea.

              1. you might be able to tolerate some, but not others. I , personally, cannot tolerate Oxycodone, but can tolerate hydromorphone (dilaudid) , morphine etc.

                many people are intolerant of some opioids. I suggest if you are in massive pain, you ask your doctor to try an alternative. it’s rare to be intolerant to ALL opioids, but that is the case with some people

                different opioids act as agonists to different receptors so that is part of the issue

          3. you’ve never tried opiates? you’ve never had a shot of dilaudid at the hospital or been prescribed perc’s or something? that’s unusual. ime, (polling during drug presentations I give on opiates) the VAST majority of people by the age of 25 have tried opiates – legally.

            1. Thank heavens you’re back, dunphy. I thought you’d flown the coop.

              1. Christmas was busy – family stuff, plus I am finally back at work. Dunphy 1 encephalitis 0

                1. well once when i had the flu or something really bad my doc prescribed hydrocodone(which i think is vicodin). but i didn’t take any recreationally and when i took it when i was sick it at best made me feel normal. could have been a low dose.

                  1. hydrocodone and Tylenol together is vicodin.

                    my point is you , like mostr people, have therefore tried opiates. I just got off 3+ months of high dose dilaudid. that’s a strong opioid. blech.

                    vicodin is pretty low dose though. 1 tab is 5 mg hydrocodone and hydrocodone is roughly equianalgesic to 1/2 the dose of oxycodone. iow, 10mg hydrocodone = 5 mg oxycodone (roughly)

                    1. yea i had forgotten about it at first, but like i said they didn’t do much for me at the time. my grandma has some oxycodone to take while she is on chemo, that i might try.*

                      *(she doesn’t take it anymore, she had a bad experience with it.)

            2. I tired them accidentally and threw up for 4 hours. You can have them all.

              I don’t like weed, it makes me a little paranoid feeling, not really pleasnt for me, but I have to say that the first couple of times I tried it, I couldn’t believe that the stuff could be illegal. Haven’t smoked it in over 20 years.

              Benzos are wonderful. Too good. I had a script one time in my life that I was suffering through a very bad time emotionally and I took them for about a month. They are incredibly addictive and I would suggest that anyone stay the hell away from them.

              Beer is enough for me, and I like it way too much, and now I am fat. Time to cut down.

    2. I have been wanting to try ecstasy though, i hear it has powerful anti-anxiety effects, if any of you guys have ever tried it what did you think? could you describe the experience for me?

      Really euphoric, body high, colors and music more vibrant, phish tolerable. Have a woman with you, you’re going to want some kissin,

      Great effect first time or two, quickly degrades after. Horrible come down, physically and emotionally.

  13. Dude that video is fucking awesome

  14. Bath time should be a time of relaxation, not of adding to one’s hypertension. Say no to bath salts.

    1. My wife has a bunch of those bath salts, all different flavors like chamomile and lavender. I tried them, and they just made me really thirsty, not sure what is up wit that.

  15. Bath Salts are so vulgar! Just give me some of that crack cocaine.

  16. Everybody here is commenting on the ridiculousness of the video – but its par for the course in prohibitionist propaganda.

    What you should really be pissed at is that the navy is blowing its money on funding this sort of shit – money that should be going ot salaries, maintenance, and procurement or funding actual operations.

    What really gets me is – the senior officers who greenlighted this shit were once JO’s, many of them even junior enlisted, so how can they possibly think that any of their people will pay the slightest bit of attention to this crap. On the one hand we’re expected to be smarter than average and on the other they feed us the same sort of propaganda that you see in grade-school level DARE productions.

    Sigh, maybe its only the real weenies who make it to seriously high rank and the normal people top out at Captain.

    1. I’ve always thought that the best way to deal with drug use in the service is to be honest –

      We don’t care if the shit is legal or not. We don’t care if its really dangerous. We told you from the beginning that you’re not to use the shit while you’re in and it doesn’t matter why – you’ve got your orders, carry on.
      If you do it we’ll bust you balls so hard you’ll be discharged an eunich. You signed on the dotted line so suck it up – don’t like it, don’t re-up.

  17. You know, if you’re going to use my tax dollars to produce propaganda, at least get someone other than your 16-year-old, AV club president nephew to direct it.

    Offensive on so many levels.

  18. When it comes to a drug control policy, the federal government has its head completely up its ass more often than not. Take, for instance, the story of Peter Gleason, whose life the FDA made it a point to destroy.

    As with most of his writings, Harvey Silverglate does a wonderful job describing the idiocy that is our federal government.

    1. The feds have absolutely no concern at all for whose life they ruin in their pursuit of stupidity.

      Did you see what they did with Tommy Chong? Millions of tax payers dollars spent on imprisoning a harmless guy for selling pipes, like he was some sort of dangerous threat to national security. Shit like that just really puts me into a state of near rage.

  19. … Utterly Disastrous Yet Mysteriously Appealing

    I’ve seen something similar said regarding “libertarianism” by mainstream liberal press. or, excuse me, “the press”

  20. Drugs r bad mkay.

  21. Sounds like a pretty solid plan to me dude. Wow.


  22. Well, at least I know what my training will be this month.

  23. I read this article last night before I went to bed. I had a dream about being in a Jacuzzi with a sheep, a lobster, and a Catholic priest.

  24. Damn, I put the bath salts in my bath water, I had no idea I was supposed to snort them.

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  26. I think it’s time vestel klima servisi we start legalizing Marijuana everywhere. Stop living in demird?k?m kombi servisi fear and start thinking about how great the future will be! LEGALIZE IT!

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    it always happens that way. but eventually, the rescheduling will commence. in some way that allows them to think they are saving face.

  29. Also! I’m starting up kad?k?y kombi servisi
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  30. earned that one “Sharon Levy” cares more for boot licking than the Hip sohbet odalar? & cinsel sohbet

  31. Already started: prescription painkillers (continued from previous years). The local morning news did a whole thingamabob on the “epidemic” this a.m.

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