14 Mar 2013
Synthetic cathinones are a group of amphetamine-like chemicals based on cathinone, a mind-altering substance found in the plant species Catha edulis. In recent years, these chemicals have entered mainstream conversation as the active ingredients in the euphemistically named, illegal drugs called “bath salts.” In addition, certain legal prescription drugs -including the antidepressant, anti-smoking medication buproprion (Wellbutrin, Zyban) – also belong to the synthetic cathinone family. Because of the relative newness of “bath salts,” no one knows for sure what types of damage long-term abuse of most synthetic cathinones will produce in the body. However, doctors and researchers have documented many of the potential consequences of short-term abuse of these drugs.
12 Mar 2013
Mephedrone is the common name for 4-methylmethcathinone, a manmade, illegal stimulant sometimes found in the designer drug preparations known in popular culture as “bath salts.” Along with a variety of other active ingredients found in these preparations, such as MDPV and butylone, it belongs to a chemically related group of mind-altering drugs called synthetic cathinones. In addition to its use in “bath salts,” mephedrone is also sometimes used on its own as an intravenous (IV) drug. Mephedrone abuse can trigger a number of unpleasant or dangerous short-term side effects, and may also lead to long-term or permanent changes in the user’s mood and normal memory function.
02 Mar 2012
Synthetic drugs are man-made substitutes for other naturally occurring drug substances. Sold under names like plant food and bath salts, K2 and Spice, the drugs are every bit as dangerous as the substances they have been designed to mimic. Synthetic drugs are designed to be substitutes for marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine and pose perhaps an even greater risk since users tend to think that synthetic means ‘safe’.
Synthetic drugs, manufactured to emulate marijuana, cocaine and other designer drugs, are growing in popularity despite the fact that they are illegal in most states and pose many of the same dangers as their non-synthetic counterparts. At the same time, constant changes in their chemical formulation, make them challenging for forensic toxicologists to identify when police are called upon to find a cause of death.
01 Sep 2011
Every year it seems there is a new designer drug making headlines. This year, that drug is kratom, a derivative of a plant found in southeast Asia that has been used for many years as an herbal treatment for depression, diarrhea and pain and as a medication for opiate withdrawal. However, in the U.S., kratom has been found to have no established medical use.