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NIDA

Illegal Drugs

Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")

What are synthetic cathinones?

Synthetic cathinones, more commonly known as "bath salts," are synthetic (human-made) drugs chemically related to cathinone, a stimulant found in the khat plant. Khat is a shrub grown in East Africa and southern Arabia, and people sometimes chew its leaves for their mild stimulant effects. Synthetic variants of cathinone can be much stronger than the natural product and, in some cases, very dangerous (Baumann, 2014).

Methamphetamine

Provides an overview of the latest scientific findings on methamphetamine, including short- and long-term health consequences, effects on pregnancy, and potential prevention and treatment options.

Published: April 1998
Revised: September 2013

MDMA (Ecstasy) Abuse

Describes the science behind MDMA (ecstasy) abuse, including what it does to the brain, whether it is addictive, and the latest research regarding prevention and treatment of MDMA.

Published: March 2006

Marijuana

Explores the latest research on marijuana, including the scope of marijuana use in the U.S., health consequences, its effects on everyday activities, and available treatments.

Published: October 2002
Revised: September 2015

Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs

Offers the latest research findings on hallucinogens and dissociative drugs, describing what they are, how they are abused, and basic facts about different drugs within this classification of drugs.

Published: March 2001
Revised: February 2015

Cocaine

Describes the latest research findings on cocaine, exploring the scope of abuse in the U.S., its potential long- and short-term health effects, maternal cocaine use, and treatment approaches.

Published: May 1999
Revised: September 2010

Treatment Statistics

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) National Survey on Drug Use and Health,1 23.5 million persons aged 12 or older needed treatment for an illicit drug or alcohol abuse problem in 2009 (9.3 percent of persons aged 12 or older). Of these, only 2.6 million—11.2 percent of those who needed treatment—received it at a specialty facility.

Marijuana: Facts for Teens

Presented in question-and-answer format and targeted to teens, provides facts about marijuana and its potential harmful effects.

Published: April 2001
Revised: May 2015

Nationwide Trends

About the Survey

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) conducts the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), a major source of information on substance use, abuse, and dependence among Americans 12 years and older. Survey respondents report whether they have used specific substances ever in their lives (lifetime), over the past year, and over the past month (also referred to as "current use"). Most analyses focus on past-month use.

Marijuana

Photo of a marijuana leaf.

What is marijuana

Marijuana refers to the dried leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant, Cannabis sativa. The plant contains the mind-altering chemical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other related compounds. Extracts with high amounts of THC can also be made from the cannabis plant (see "Marijuana Extracts").

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