(HealthDay News) – Bath salts, a group of drugs that contain one or more chemicals related to the amphetamine-like stimulant cathinone, were involved in nearly 23,000 drug-related emergency department visits in 2011, according to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Researchers from SAMHSA in Rockville, MD, used data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network to investigate the number of emergency department visits involving bath salts in 2011.

The researchers found that, of nearly 2.5 million emergency department visits that involved drug abuse or misuse in 2011, 22,904 visits involved bath salts. Of these, 33%, 15%, and 52%, respectively, involved bath salts alone, bath salts combined with marijuana or synthetic marijuana, and bath salts combined with other drugs.

“Dangerous health effects, including the risk of addiction, make bath salt use a serious public health concern,” the authors write.

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