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Synthetic Cathinones (“Bath Salts”)

The term “bath salts” refers to an emerging family of drugs containing one or more synthetic chemicals related to cathinone, an amphetamine-like stimulant found naturally in the Khat plant.

Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction

NOTE: This is a fact sheet covering research findings on effective treatment approaches for drug abuse and addiction. If you are seeking treatment, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service at 1–800–662–HELP (4357) for information on hotlines, counseling services, or treatment options in your State. Drug treatment programs by State also may be found online at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov.

Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking results in more than 480,000 premature deaths in the United States each year—about 1 in every 5 U.S.

Anabolic Steroids

“Anabolic steroids” is the familiar name for synthetic variants of the male sex hormone testosterone. The proper term for these compounds is anabolic-androgenic steroids (abbreviated AAS)—“anabolic” referring to muscle-building and “androgenic” referring to increased male sexual characteristics.

Spice ("Synthetic Marijuana")

"Spice" refers to a wide variety of herbal mixtures that produce experiences similar to marijuana (cannabis) and that are marketed as "safe," legal alternatives to that drug. Sold under many names, including K2, fake weed, Yucatan Fire, Skunk, Moon Rocks, and others — and labeled "not for human consumption" — these products contain dried, shredded plant material and chemical additives that are responsible for their psychoactive (mind-altering) effects.

Salvia

Salvia (Salvia divinorum) is an herb in the mint family native to southern Mexico. It is used to produce hallucinogenic experiences.

Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications

Some medications have psychoactive (mind-altering) properties and, because of that, are sometimes abused—that is, taken for reasons or in ways or amounts not intended by a doctor, or taken by someone other than the person for whom they are prescribed. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are, after marijuana (and alcohol), the most commonly abused substances by Americans 14 and older.

Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine (also called meth, crystal, chalk, and ice, among other terms) is an extremely addictive stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamine. It takes the form of a white, odorless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder.

Khat

Khat (pronounced “cot”) is a stimulant drug derived from a shrub (Catha edulis) that is native to East Africa and southern Arabia. The khat plant itself is not scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act; however, because one of the mind-altering chemicals found in it, cathinone, is a Schedule I drug (a controlled substance with no recognized therapeutic use), the Federal Government considers Khat use illegal.

How Is Khat Used?

Leaves of the khat shrub are typically chewed and held in the cheek, like chewing tobacco, to release their stimulant chemicals.

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