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The term “bath salts” refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the Khat plant. Chemically, cathinones are similar to amphetamines such as methamphetamine and to MDMA (ecstasy). Synthetic cathinones are included in a group of drugs called "new psychoactive substances" (NPS).
The name 'bath salts' derives from the appearance of the drug. The white powder, granules, or crystals often resemble true bath salts such as Epsom salts, but are very different chemically and should not be confused.