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Home > DrugFacts: Synthetic cathinones (“Bath salts”).

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2020) DrugFacts: Synthetic cathinones (“Bath salts”). Bethesda, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse.

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Synthetic cathinones, more commonly known as bath salts, are human-made stimulants chemically related to cathinone, a substance found in the khat plant. Khat is a shrub grown in East Africa and southern Arabia, where some people chew its leaves for their mild stimulant effects. Human-made versions of cathinone can be much stronger than the natural product and, in some cases, very dangerous.

Synthetic cathinones usually take the form of a white or brown crystal-like powder and are sold in small plastic or foil packages labeled "not for human consumption." They can be labeled as bath salts, plant food, jewelry cleaner, or phone screen cleaner.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Guideline, Report
Drug Type
New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
July 2020
3 p.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Corporate Creators
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Place of Publication
Bethesda, MD
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
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