'Bath salts' is the street name for a number of illegal narcotic substances that have recently plagued especially the youth in the United States. These drugs often contain substitute cathionones, which have effects similar to cocaine, amphetamines, or other drugs. They have been dubbed 'bath salts' since they frequently are made to resemble harmless epsom salts in an effort to avoid official prohibition.
Several incidents have been linked to the use of these drugs over the past few years, including a bizarre attack in Florida in which a homeless man actually had most of his face bitten off by a user.
Hundreds of other designer drugs that provide so-called "legal highs" have been reported, including chemicals such as synthetic marijuana and semi-synthetic substances such as methylhexaneamine. These drugs are developed to avoid being controlled by laws against illegal drugs and have thus gotten the label of 'designer drugs.'
The U.S. military is taking the threat of drug use seriously, since soldiers and sailors are particularly susceptible to drugs such as bath salts because current drug tests have difficulty detecting the sometimes obscure, rarely uniform cocktail of chemicals contained in the drugs — such as the synthetic marijuana, or "spice," craze of 2009.
The U.S. Navy has produced a disturbing disturbing dramatization of a young man under the influence of a designer drug. The video is probably hoped to to deter members of the military from experimenting with designer drugs, even while military and law enforcement authorities are seeking to get legislation enacted that will put into place adequate urine or blood testing.