Synthetic cathinones are “euphoric stimulants,” meaning they have a short acting duration of physical and psychological effects similar to stimulants like amphetamine. These can include:

  • Increased energy and alertness
  • Elevated mood
  • Sociability
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Diminished appetite

Methylone and mephedrone were among the first discovered synthetic cathinones, so their effects have been more thoroughly researched in humans. Much less is known about newer substances, like MDPV and alpha-PVP, which have been brought to market once known substances are banned.

There can be significant variation in effects, duration and intensity based on the methods of ingestion and dosage. There are several resources for educating people who choose to use these drugs like DanceSafe, TripSit, Erowid.

Synthetic cathinones are rarely sought out for use on their own. They are often unknowingly combined with other drugs and sold as “molly” or “bath salts” and often used by people drinking alcohol or using other drugs. As the effects of synthetic cathinones are not well understood, more research is needed to fill these knowledge gaps.

See the fact sheet for more information and sources.