Synthetic Cathinones

What are synthetic Cathinones

What are synthetic Cathinones?

Synthetic Cathinones are the name of a category of drugs related to the naturally occurring khat plant.

  1. They are stimulants, meaning that they speed up the messages between the brain and the body and have similar effects to amphetamines.
  2. Synthetic Cathinones are also part of a group of drugs known as New Psychoactive Substances (NPS).
  3. NPSs are a range of drugs that first appeared on the recreational drug market in the mid-2000s, that have been designed to mimic established illicit drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy, and LSD.
  4. Between 2005 and 2014 more than 81 synthetic cathinone derivatives were reported to the EU Early Warning System.2
  5. Synthetic Cathinones are mostly white or brown powders but also exist in the form of small, chunky crystals.
  6. They are sometimes found as capsules and less commonly as tablets.

Types of Cathinones commonly used:

How are they used?

Synthetic Cathinones are usually snorted, swallowed, or injected.

When taken orally the desired effects are typically seen within 15–45 minutes. After snorting the desired effect is anecdotally reported to occur within a few minutes. The effects usually last for approximately 2-4 hours.6

Effects of Synthetic Cathinones

  • There is no safe level of drug use. The use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.

Synthetic Cathinones affect everyone differently, based on:

  • the amount taken
  • a person’s size, weight, and health
  • whether the person is used to taking it
  • whether other drugs are taken around the same time
  • the strength of the drug (which can vary from batch to batch).

The individual effects and toxicity of each cathinone are distinct and can vary greatly between each person using them.

Synthetic Cathinones

Generally speaking, in small doses the following effects may be experienced and may last for approximately 2-4 hours:

  • the rush of intense pleasure
  • feeling happy, energetic, and wanting to talk more
  • intense connection with music
  • restless sleep
  • muscle tension (face and jaw)
  • blurred vision
  • light-headedness, dizziness
  • distorted sense of time
  • enlarged (dilated) pupils, blurred vision
  • dry mouth, thirst
  • sweating
  • memory loss
  • reduced appetite.5

Higher doses may result in the following adverse effects:

  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • nose bleeds from snorting the drug
  • stomach pains, nausea, vomiting
  • skin rashes
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • high blood pressure and hot flushes
  • strong urge to re-dose
  • chest pain
  • tremors, convulsions, death

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