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Synthetic cathinones (SCs) are a group of ?-ketone amphetamine
compounds derived fromcathinone, a naturally occurring
psychoactive component found in Catha edulis, a plant
traditionally consumed in the Horn of Africa.SCs belong
tothe so-calledNewPsychoactive Substances (NPS) andhave
been one of the main active components of "bath salts" or
"plant feeders."


Original text

Synthetic cathinones (SCs) are a group of ?-ketone amphetamine
compounds derived fromcathinone, a naturally occurring
psychoactive component found in Catha edulis, a plant
traditionally consumed in the Horn of Africa. SCs belong
tothe so-calledNewPsychoactive Substances (NPS) andhave
been one of the main active components of “bath salts” or
“plant feeders.” They are perhaps one of the psychoactive
substances most involved in the “legal high” phenomenon.
Initially, theywere a legal alternative to other illegal drugs,
such as 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine (MDMA or
ecstacy), cocaine, or amphetamine, because of their psychoactive
properties, like an entactogenic effect similar to the one
of MDMA and a stimulating effect like that of cocaine.
Among this group of substances, the most popular
has been mephedrone, or 4-methylmethcathinone, followed
by butylone, methylone, and some phenylpyrrolidines,
such as methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) and
?-pyrrolidinopentiophenone (?-PVP) [4]. The control of
mephedrone in Europe took place in April 2010 (UK), and it
was not until July 2012 thatmephedrone and methylone were
classified in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act in
the United States.
Several side effects have been widely described as the
result of mephedrone consumption, such as cardiovascular
disorders, rhabdomyolysis, renal failure, agitation, bizarre
behaviors, aggression, and even death. In addition, the
addictive potential of mephedrone has been widely described
. Its consumption has been associated with increased risk
of presenting psychotic symptomatology (delusive thoughts,
hallucinations, or disorganized speech). Although, in
most cases, psychosis resolved within a few days, there have
been reports of persistent psychotic symptoms for weeks after
a single consumption of SCs.
Mephedrone has been very popular among young men
who frequent nightclubs, especially in men who have sex
with men (MSM).Thus, in the UK, it became the sixth most
consumed substance in gay bars and nightclubs, after alcohol,
tobacco, cannabis, MDMA, and cocaine. Recent
concern has arisen around the intravenous (IV) ministration
of mephedrone and other cathinones in some groups of drug
users, especially in MSM who engage in a practice known as
slamming.This term refers to the IV use of mephedrone and
other substances at chemsex parties,where subjects frequently
exchange syringes and engage in risky sexual behavior.
This behavior may lead to medical and psychiatric problems
associated with IV drug injection, including the contraction
of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or viral infections,
such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis
C virus (HCV).


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