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Acute Psychosis Induced by Bath Salts: A Case Report with Clinical and Forensic Implications


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Mihaela Valentina Stoica, M.D.

Department and Neurology and Psychiatry

Saint Louis University School of Medicine

1438 South Grand Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63104



Bath salts are new designer drugs with stimulant effects on the central nervous system. White or brown powder sold online and in mini-marts under different brand names, bath salts can be used by injecting, snorting, smoking, or ingesting with food or drink. The case of a 30-year-old Caucasian male who developed acute psychosis within a few hours of injecting himself with bath salts is described. The patient was hospitalized with a complaint of hearing voices. The drug also induced in the patient a state of euphoria, increased energy level, along with decreased need for sleep and decreased appetite. The psychological effects of the bath salts subsided within a few hours of injection and his reality testing remained consistently intact over the next 3 days of hospitalization. This case brings to attention the fact that bath salts were legal throughout the United States until recently and is still not completely controlled. This report informs clinicians of harmful effects of bath salts, including severe agitation with possible rhabdomyolysis, psychosis, suicidal ideation, hypertension, tachycardia, and death.

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