July 20, 2015
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Bath salts not commonly used by teens in the US

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Only a small portion of high school seniors reported using bath salts; however, among those who used the drug, a significant proportion reported using more than 40 times in the previous 12 months, according to recently published data.

“Results suggest that while ‘bath salt’ use has been covered extensively by the media, use is not particularly prevalent among high school seniors in the U.S.,” Joseph J. Palamar, PhD, MPH, department of population health, New York University wrote. 

Joseph J. Palamar

Palamar analyzed data from the Monitoring the Future study to assess the use of bath salts among high school seniors (n = 8,604) in 48 states across the country.

Results demonstrated that 1.1% of participants used bath salts during the previous 12 months. 

Among bath salt users, 32.7% used once or twice, 22.7% used between three and five times, 10.2% used between six and nine times, 5.1% used between 10 and 19 times, 10.9% used between 20 and 39 times, and  18.4% used 40 or more times.

Lifetime use of alcohol or marijuana, powder cocaine, LSD, crack and heroin were reported among most bath salt users (> 90%). 

Student use of bath salts was associated with earning more than $50 per week or going out between 2 and 7 nights a week for fun.

Students were less likely to use bath salts if they lived with one or two parents. 

Palamar noted that research is needed to examine the reasoning behind the use of bath salts. 

“While these results suggest bath salt use is not particularly prevalent among teens in the U.S., it is important that we continue to monitor new drugs such as ‘bath salts’ in order to inform prevention and quickly detect potential drug epidemics,” Palamar concluded in a press release. – by Casey Hower

Disclosure: Palamar reports no relevant financial disclosures.