Bath Salts and Alcohol: Is It Dangerous To Mix These Substances?

Bath Salts And Alcohol on the table

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Bath salts are synthetic stimulants that were originally derived from a Khat plant. Their modern variations are known by the names of vanilla sky, lunar wave or cloud nine drug. This drug has many risks associated with it alone, but when bath salts and alcohol are combined, the effects go far than worse. So, is the combination of bath salts and alcohol dangerous? What side effects may appear when bath salts and alcohol reaction take place? What is the treatment for this combination? Find the answers in this article.

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Table of Contents

Mixing Alcohol And Bath Salts: Is It Dangerous?

Bath salts are categorized as a stimulant, and ethanol is known as a sedative substance. Both substances belong to two different types of drugs, but when combined, the results are no less than dangerous. Lunar wave alone act as a psychoactive drug and has effects similar to cocaine, molly, or meth.

When bath salts and alcohol are mixed, they send conflicting signals to the body system, which results in some unexpected effects.

Further, most of the synthetic cathinones contain mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV). These components are responsible for interactions with ethanol. Even when used alone, mephedrone has a high overdose potential, and methylenedioxypyrovalerone leads to changes in mood, behavior, and neurochemical functions known as MDPV high.

Why Are Bath Salts and Alcohol Mixed?

Bath salts and alcohol are usually mixed because both the substances work together such that the extracellular dopamine concentrations are maintained. It is also known that ethanol interacts with MDPV at microsomal level, leading to an increase in its metabolic rate.

In case, if the psychostimulant effect induced by vanilla sky is decreased with alcohol, it still favors the boost and encourages the user to re-dose for the desired results.

Increased Euphoric Feelings

Mixing bath salts and alcohol also enhances the euphoric effects of cloud nine drug. But as the rewarding effects of both the substances won’t decrease, there is a chance that the addictive liability could increase in a person. Bath Salts and Flakka high are also known to cover the ethanol’s sedative effect, which leads the person to violent behavior and psychosis.
Also, according to the study about mephedrone and alcohol interactions, this combination increases the cardiovascular effects of mephedrone and induces an intense feeling of euphoria in an individual. The abuse liability of this combination is more prominent as compared to mephedrone alone.

People taking alcohol and bath salts in the night club
According to a 2014 animal study by US National Library of Medicines National Institutes of Health, it was also found that synthetic cathinones have reinforcing properties, activates a potential for abuse and addiction in humans, and brain reward circuitry as well.

Bath Salts And Alcohol Adverse Effects

There is a high chance that individuals who use drugs such as vanilla sky also consume alcohol.


Polysubstance abuse is quite common among individuals who take synthetic cathinones. According to a survey on the US National Library of Health and Medicine, more than 80% of reported the usage of drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, MDMA, and cannabis, in addition to vanilla sky. So, what are the health risks for users, when they consume bath salts and drinking alcohol simultaneously?

Teenager attacking stranger after mixing bath salts with alcohol
Some of the effects last for a couple of minutes, while others may last for hours. Ethanol, being a central nervous system depressant enhances the impact of lunar wave leading to severe physical and mental side effects. If someone is mixing alcohol and bath salts, the individual is prone to experiencing some severe psychotic effects. They are also followed by depression, agitation, and increased cravings for cloud nine drug.

Some of the other bath salts and alcohol effects are:

  • Panic attacks
  • Aggression
  • Violent behavior
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Paranoia

Bath Salts And Alcohol Risk Groups

Bath salts are billed under a legal high and still are easily available with local drug suppliers and head shops. Due to their easy availability, teens and individuals with poor mental health are the most vulnerable groups among people trying this drug.

Teens

The teens who want a new thrill take a wrong idea from different bath salt names such as Bloom, Cloud Nine, and others and end up trying them, commonly with the alcohol. Their less developed bodies try to cope with the salts and alcohol reaction, thus making the chance of severe side effects and damage prominent.

Teenagers drinking and snorting bath salts

Individuals With Poor Mental Health

According to the Journal of the Americal Medical Association report, roughly 50% of the individuals with mental disorders are affected by some form of substance abuse. Therefore, there is a high chance that individuals with poor health may try bath salts or combine them with ethanol and their condition will become worse.

Treatment For Addiction To Bath Salts And Alcohol

If someone is addicted to both bath salts and alcohol, the individual can go for a detox program or a residential recovery program. Some of the bath salts drug effects are severe, and, an individual will require around six months of addiction treatment to recover completely.
However, the user should not try this combination in the first place. If someone tries it, the person might get addicted to it or become prone to anxiety, delusions, agitation, hallucinations, and other health effects. When it comes to polysubstance abuse, qualified treatment centers offer help for the individuals who are under bath salts and alcohol concurrent addiction.

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View Sources
  1. Jane M., Lewis S. Nelson, The Toxicology of Bath Salts: A Review of Synthetic Cathinones, 2012, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3550219/
  2. Lucas R. Watterson, Peter R. Kufahl, Natali E. Nemirovsky, Kaveish Sewalia, Megan Grabenauer, Brian F. Thomas, Julie A. Marusich, Scott Wegner, M. Foster Olive, Potent rewarding and reinforcing effects of the synthetic cathinone 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3473160/
  3. M.Farré, C.Perez-Maña, E.de Souza, J.Mateus, E.Theunisen, K.Kuypers, J.Ramaekers, F.Fonseca, M.Torrens, E.Olesti, R.de la Torre, E.Papaseit, Interactions between mephedrone and alcohol in humans: Cardiovascular and subjective effects, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924933816001267
Isaak Stotts

About Author

Isaak Stotts, LP

Isaak Stotts is an in-house medical writer in AddictionResource. Isaak learned addiction psychology at Aspen University and got a Master's Degree in Arts in Psychology and Addiction Counseling. After graduation, he became a substance abuse counselor, providing individual, group, and family counseling for those who strive to achieve and maintain sobriety and recovery goals.

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