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Don't you dare do those delicious buttermilk pancakes in front of my children, you monster.
August 21, 2012 10:12 AM   Subscribe

What would happen if you used "bath salts" as bath salts?

I can't even say I know how people take the drugs known as "bath salts," though presumably not through a warm relaxing soak. And while I don't take a lot of baths (or buy my bath salts at truck stops), but face-eating cannibalism demands vigilance--eternal vigilance.

Idle curiosity going both ways--accidental misuse of "bath salts" by an overstressed grandma coming home from a long drive, and actual bath salts abused by a desperate bath salts fiend (do they have a name? Bathers? Salters? Epsoms?). Have there been news reports of someone making this mistake?

Please leave aside differing packaging that would presumably obviate a mistake; I just want to know what would happen if someone actually got it wrong. It's as if a new form of crack were called "delicious buttermilk pancakes."

Thanks in advance.

Bonus question: are there other drugs that have a street name that references an otherwise innocuous and completely unrelated household product that someone would go to a store to buy? Marijuana is "weed," but it kind of is a weed, and people don't buy weeds. Coke might be "snow," but it is a bit snowy, and you're not likely to go looking to buy snow. "Special K" would count, and maybe "crank" (but who buys cranks?). Acid, maybe, but it is an acid, and people don't commonly buy acid in a shop. I'm having trouble thinking of others.
posted by Admiral Haddock to Health & Fitness (28 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
No clue about the main question, but for the bonus:
Coke = Coca-Cola for me (and I hear tell down South, coke = any soda... as in "I'll have a coke!" waitress: "What kind?")
posted by Grither at 10:16 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ice and crystal are both things that aren't necessarily meth.
posted by phunniemee at 10:17 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought about mentioning coke, but since the "Coca" in "Coca-Cola was actually referring to cocaine, it's not quite the same opportunity for confusion.

On preview: Phunniemee has got the idea on the bonus question.

I think the thing I find so interesting about "bath salts" and bath salts, is that they share a name and, as far as I can tell, are both powdered substances. You might actually get confused (theoretically) and take the wrong one.

If you went out to the shop and asked for "ice" or ice, you'd obviously know if you got the wrong one. Same with "Special K"--if they give you a box of cereal, you're not going to get high (unless that's an elaborate way to hide the drugs inside).
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:22 AM on August 21, 2012


Nothing would happen, most likely. You'd be dissolving a small amount of product in 50+ gallons of water. Most substances don't absorb through the skin NEARLY as well as they do when smoked/snorted/swallowed. So you're basically diluting the hell out of the drug itself, then sticking your not-very-absorbent skin in it. I'm no medical professional, but I'm pretty sure you could dump the contents of Hunter S. Thompson's briefcase from "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" in a tub, take a dip and not get the slightest hint of a buzz.
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:29 AM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Rock (but I don't know anywhere that you could buy a rock, much less without the indefinite article).
posted by Pax at 10:50 AM on August 21, 2012


Same with horse.
posted by Pax at 10:51 AM on August 21, 2012


Marijuana is also bud, easily confused with Budweiser.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:56 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, most of the drug "bath salts" which aren't just one product or drug like say cocaine is but are a wide class of different chemicals/compounds...typically in the family of the substituted cathinones (but again...on the streets they can call a wide range of stuff "bath salts") one thing they have NOTHING in common with are what you would actually use in a bath which are usually scented and colored Epsom salts. Trying to sniff or inject Epsom salts (AKA Magnesium sulfate) would probably be a pretty un-pleasant experience, though they are commonly taken orally in liquid for a laxative effect.

Bath Salts got the name as a sort of end-run around drug/product laws...if you sell something you intend people to take/ingest the FDA and other govt. groups require you have specific labeling and what not. But if you are just selling "Bath Salts...wink wink nudge nudge" which you warn on the package should most definitively not ever be snored or injected...again with a wink.....then the person selling them cant be held responsible for what you may do at home.
posted by Captain_Science at 10:59 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marijuana = "pot"
Heroin = "junk"
posted by mkultra at 11:06 AM on August 21, 2012


The bath-salt substances were also sold as 'plant food' in our area. I strongly suspect that you'd hurt any plant that go some.
posted by jquinby at 11:06 AM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wikipedia says that some of them contain some lidocaine, so I bet it could potentially be tingly/numbing (more likely on your hand as you try to get it out of the container - the dilution argument is pretty persuasive to me.)
posted by SMPA at 11:07 AM on August 21, 2012


In the UK, 'plant food' is/was a thing (easier to say than 'mephedrone', too, and less likely to be confused with methadone or anything else starting with 'meth'...). I don't know what it would do to actual plants. (On preview, maybe that's the same thing as your 'bath salts).
posted by Lebannen at 11:08 AM on August 21, 2012


Also, I remember anti-drug pamphlets from the late 70s and early 80s that included lists of slang terms so that parents (and police) could tell what those kids were really talking about. "Yellow jackets" is one term for pills that I recall. There's plenty more on this list at Erowid.
posted by jquinby at 11:08 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


*sigh* This is the first time I've learned that "bath salts" AREN'T exactly that.

Meanwhile, all I can think of is that King of the Hill episode where Hank buys crack on the street, thinking it's fish bait, and gets all the fish in their fishing hole hooked (literally).
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:35 AM on August 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


I assume that there are many drugs with street names which are also harmless household items. I can only think of one: cheese.
posted by stuart_s at 12:01 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


homeopathic methylenedioxypyrovalerone!
posted by changeling at 12:10 PM on August 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


There is also the "monkey on my foot" incident from WKRP in Cincinnati, but that was mainly because Johnny specifically told Carlson that the substance in question was "foot powder."
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:00 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I understood this question backwards and thought you were asking what would happen if one snorted bath salts.

The answer is everything smells like Tropical Rainstorm. Forever.
posted by maryr at 1:08 PM on August 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


There was a sign noting that "Spice is illegal and use is against UCMJ" that I saw. I thought it was a Dune reference until someone noted that "spice" is another name for those "bath salts" you're mentioning.
posted by bookdragoness at 2:17 PM on August 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


They wouldn't be called "epsoms" because, yeah, epsom salts, which are commonly used in a bath, are not bath salts, which are used to get high. It's really annoying because people get confused now when I tell them to take an epsom salt bath for their sore muscles. I've tried to think of a better name for epsom salts so it doesn't happen, but I haven't been successful.

I'm not sure what would happen with your bath scenario.

A gram is referred to as a dime.(this applies to pot and sometimes coke, probably some other things too).
posted by windykites at 3:24 PM on August 21, 2012


"spice" is another name for those "bath salts" you're mentioning.

'Spice' is synthetic cannabis, not the cathinone-derivatives typically sold as 'bath salts'.
posted by anagrama at 4:00 PM on August 21, 2012


And re. the bonus question - in North-East England, 'ket' was a catch-all phrase for sweets/candy/confectionery a long time before it referred to ketamine.
posted by anagrama at 4:07 PM on August 21, 2012


Hashish is called "hash".
Psilocybin mushrooms are often called "mushrooms".
Mushrooms inside of chocolates are referred to as just "chocolates" -- if one is in the right environment, you're supposed to just know what the chocolates are. See klangklangston's comment here -- which I stumbled upon in a recent MeFi random-page binge -- and addresses consuming "chocolates" that were thought to only be chocolates.
I'm hungry.
posted by mean square error at 6:37 PM on August 21, 2012


Bath Salts got the name as a sort of end-run around drug/product laws...if you sell something you intend people to take/ingest the FDA and other govt. groups require you have specific labeling and what not. But if you are just selling "Bath Salts...wink wink nudge nudge" which you warn on the package should most definitively not ever be snored or injected...again with a wink.....then the person selling them cant be held responsible for what you may do at home.

Wrong, Captain_Science. Illegal substances are illegal, no matter what you call them, and under the Federal Analog Act, Bath Salts are illegal.

Nor does that have anything to do with drugs getting nicknames, any more than lovers develop nicknames to hide their true-love's identity. It's a sort of "thieves' cant" or "insiders lingo"; use of the terms separates the in-crowd from the unaware masses, but it's done as much (or more) to identify oneself as being "in" as it is to confuse others.

Trust me on this: if a junkie in a hoodie on the street asked you for some bath salts, your first thought wouldn't be to direct him to "Bed Bath & Beyond." The cops and courts aren't fooled, either.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:19 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't forget yellow bentines, cake, qat candles or Hattie Jacque's pretentious cheese wog.
posted by w0mbat at 8:26 PM on August 21, 2012


Marijuana is also bud, easily confused with Budweiser.
Not true; one is a substance consumed for pleasure, the other is Budweiser. ;)

But I'm totally confused on the "bath salts" thing... In all these stories, I thought what they were talking about was, well, bath salts. As in, Calgon Take Me Away, actual bath salts. And then being absolutely stunned, picturing people smoking/snorting/whatever a jar of shit they picked up at Bed Bath & Beyond.

So this isn't the case? What they're calling "bath salts" in these face-eating zombie stories aren't actual hot soaky bath salts, it's just that someone decided to call this whatever-it-is "bath salts", what, to try to fly under the radar a little? I'm more confused than when I came in here...
posted by xedrik at 11:59 PM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


xedrik, "bath salts" (the drug) is an artificial designer drug and has a lot more in common with meth than with bath salts (the tub product), which are totally innocuous, naturally occuring magnesium salts. If you try to ingest bath salts that you buy at a store, you will not get high, but you will find it is an effective laxative.
posted by windykites at 4:47 AM on August 22, 2012


Heroin is often called "horse," but I can't think of a situation in which you'd buy a horse accidentally. Maybe in a zany Britcom?
posted by zoetrope at 12:15 PM on August 22, 2012


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