Emergence of new classes of recreational drugs - Synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones

Vikas Khullar, Ankur Jain, Maryam Sattari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Designer drugs represent an increasingly popular form of recreational substance abuse, especially amongst young adults. The two classes of designer drugs that have recently risen to prominence are the synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic cathinones. These substances are not detected by conventional drug screening methods and can often be associated with serious health consequences, including seizures, renal failure and death. Thus, clinicians should be familiar with the signs, symptoms, and toxicities associated with the use of these substances, and maintain a high level of suspicion for synthetic drugs as an alternative means of "getting high." We present a case of a 20-year-old college student who presented to the emergency department with altered mental status and severe agitation who later admitted to using bath salts. The goal of this article is to raise awareness about these new designer drugs, their clinical presentation, and management of their intoxication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1204
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2014


  • bath salts
  • designer drugs
  • synthetic cannabinoids
  • synthetic cathinones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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