Cathinone | Drugs sold as bath salts have suicidal effects

Bath Salts

They are sold as "bath salts," but MDPV is a dangerous drug. Image: Flickr / paussus / CC-BY-SA

In convenience stores around the United States, drugs are being sold as bath salts. Known as MDPV, mephedrone or cathinone, the drugs sold as bath salts are snorted or injected. The bath salts drugs are usually MDPV, which is chemically related to cathinone.

The difference between cathinone and mephedrone

Cathinone is a drug derived from the khat plant. The amphetimine-like effects of khat and cathinone have led to it being listed as a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA and international community. Mephedrone and MDPV — Methylenedioxypyrovalerone — are very chemically similar to cathinone. Cathinone’s effects include suicidal thoughts and actions, hallucinations, euphoria, arousal and a wide variety of stimulant effects. The drugs are known as Ivory Wave, Cloud 9, White Lightning, Red Dove, White Dove and Ocean.

Drugs and bath salts in the United States

MDPV is often sold as a bath salt additive in the United States. It has an earthy scent, especially when exposed to air. The packets of “designer bath salts” are sold for between $20 and $40. MPDV has been banned in Louisiana, after dozens of calls to emergency services. MDPV, much like cathinone, has been causing suicidal effects in many drug users seeking their next high. Areas that are restricting the sale of pseudoephedrine seem to be experiencing an increase in the use of MDPV and reports of related suicidal behavior.

Banning cathinone and MDPV

Though Louisiana has banned the sale of these bath salt drugs, they are still legal in most states. Australia also has legal MDPV. The United Kingdom has already banned MDPV as a cathinone derivitave. Finland, Denmark and Sweden also banned MDPV. Many states are wondering, though, if the time, money and effort spent to ban a drug is as effective as putting the time, money, and effort into addiction treatment programs.


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