Signs and Symptoms of Synthetic Cathinones Abuse

Cathinone is a stimulant found in a plant called khat, grown in Eastern Africa and surrounding countries. It is heavily used in the countries where it is grown, such as Yemen, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia and Somalia. The plant material is trafficked in limited quantities to other countries where emigrants from these countries have settled.

Since 2008, new chemicals have been found on the synthetic drug market that are very similar to naturally-occurring cathinone. By 2010, serious and harmful signs of use began to alert law enforcement and medical staff to a new phenomenon in drug abuse. Incidents of violence, suicide and homicide began to show up, all related to the use of these drugs. Law enforcement and legislators began to realize that synthetic cathinones presented a new kind of threat to the mental and physical health of drug abusers and people around them.

When a person begins abusing synthetic cathinones, there will be physical and mental signs of the drug abuse itself. It will also be apparent that something dreadful is happening to his life. It may not be so apparent that drug abuse is causing that change.

Keeping a Secret

Drug users and addicts become very manipulative and secretive. They will probably keep the signs and symptoms of synthetic cathinones hidden from family and sober friends.

Synthetics cathinones are nicknamed “bath salts” because early packaging labels for the drugs claimed that they were for a “stimulating bath” so sellers could evade law enforcement seizures. The chemicals of this category that are commonly sold include mephedrone, methylone and MDPV (3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone). But in the months since this category of product hit the market, more than two hundred other similar chemicals are now being sold.

The chemicals are usually packaged in small foil packs or small plastic jars. In addition to the original “bath salts” labeling, they are also referred to as potpourri, jewelry cleaner, glass cleaner, plant food and research chemicals. They are given brand names like “Ivory Wave,” “White Lightning,” “Snow Leopard,” “Bubbles,” “Zoom” and many others.

These drugs can be snorted, dissolved and injected or ingested. Some can be smoked.

If a person is lucky, the high resulting from synthetic cathinone abuse will include euphoria, a feeling of confidence and power, increased energy, probably with a horrible comedown and hangover.

Signs and Symptoms of Cathinone Abuse

If the drug he gets is stronger than expected or if he takes too much of it, he could show signs and symptoms like these:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Aggression
  • Anxiety leading to violence
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Delusions
  • High blood pressure
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle tenseness and spasms

The most serious and deadly signs of bath salts include:

  • Suicidal thoughts and actions
  • Intense paranoia
  • Violent attacks on people and things
  • Uncontrollable hallucinations
  • Homicide
  • Life-threatening activities like jumping out windows or running into traffic
  • Extremely high body temperature
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Muscle breakdown

The drug is highly addictive for many people. As a person comes down off the high, he (or she) may be driven to go get more of the drug immediately.

Rehab May be Essential to Help a Person Stop

When a person is addicted, he can’t control his drug intake and very often can’t even make the decision to get sober. Most families know that rehab is needed long before the addicted person asks for help. A life-threatening drug like these synthetic cathinones requires a thorough, longer-term drug rehab program for recovery.

The Narconon drug rehab program has been helping the addicted recover for nearly five decades. There are some 45 centers located around the world. The program is dedicated to eliminating the use of any kind of drug or alcohol, and so it uses no drugs as part of its treatment plan.

This rehab program offers a gradient approach to recovering responsibility for oneself and one’s family and friends. It includes methods of restoring one’s personal integrity, a quality that is normally shattered by substance abuse, and learning to solve the problems in life with real tools, so that hiding in drugs or alcohol is not the only choice.

Learn how the Narconon program can help you bring a loved one back from a terrible trip into synthetic cathinones abuse and addiction.

See Effects of Cathinones Abuse


Sign up free to receive our email newsletter: