Synthetic cathinones are commonly referred to as bath salts. These drugs are man-made stimulants and are chemically related to a cathinone found in the khat plant. The version of cathinone found in this plant is not nearly as strong as what is being produced synthetically. Synthetic cathinones look like a white or brown crystal-like powder. These drugs are referred to as new psychoactive substances and are psychoactive mind-altering substances. They are often marketed as a cheap alternative and substitute for other stimulants, such as meth or cocaine. When the drugs are used, they can be swallowed, snorted, smoked, or injected. Synthetic cathinones are chemically similar to amphetamines, cocaine, and MDMA, and affect the brain in much of the same way. The effects created by synthetic cathinones include paranoia, hallucinations, increased friendliness, increased sex drive, panic attacks, and excited delirium.
Synthetic cathinones are illegal and are classified as Schedule I within the Controlled Substances Act. Every state uses different administration actions, prosecution strategies, and regulations for product labeling and branding to ban individualized substances. There are often criminal and civil penalties enacted, which prevent the advertising of synthetic drugs. New York State creates new laws that broaden the chemical definitions, which are outlines within Schedule I. The new state laws will lead to harsher penalties for anyone caught selling or producing synthetic cathinones.