Stimulants in Bath Salts Produce Effects Similar to MDMA

Get Help Now for Rehab Admissions

A research study conducted by NIDA's (National Institute of Drug Abuse) Intramural Research Program showed that mephedrone and methylone act on the brain like MDMA, also known as ecstasy. Mephedrone and methylone are two stimulants found in bath salts, so one of the conclusions being made is that these stimulants are similarly addictive in both MDMA and bath salts. Both drugs are indeed addictive, and have been known to cause similar effects, such as euphoria, energy, wakefulness, a sense of well-being, and mood changes.

Perhaps these findings can shed light on how bath salts isn't too much different from ecstasy, a popular club drug that is perceived as safe or fun. Although bath salt usage has seen more extreme cases of death and injury, ecstasy has had its share of tragic consequences. A person dying of dehydration or heart problems has occurred many times with MDMA, and bath salts are known to cause aggression, confusion, suicide, and irregular behavior. Each drug has its own effect; however, this recent study reveals that underneath the behavior, there may be similar reactions occurring in the brain--at a bio-chemical level.

The study focused on lab rats, where each was given a dose of one of the three stimulants. Every drug escalated extracellular concentrations of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. And for all three substances, serotonin was affected the most as opposed to dopamine. So all in all, there was an "underlying mechanism for the heightened neurotransmitter presence"-- which was that all three drugs caused transporters in cellular membranes to release dopamine and serotonin in the extracellular space. However, the main point is that usually, the normal activity of the transporters is to draw out the neurotransmitters from the extracellular space, not in.

This means that the drug usage reversed the normal functioning of these transporters, and each effect was the same as the next drug. They produced similar pharmacologic effects. There were also some differences found however: repeated high doses of MDMA reduced serotonin concentrations in the brain, while mephedrone and methylone did not follow this effect. Also, repeated high doses of these drugs caused the lab rats to behave differently. MDMA led to flattened body posture, while mephdrone and methylone induced rearing behavior. Of course, the most important fact is that all these drugs have a high potential for addiction. Mephedrone and methylone have less toxic potential than MDMA, but much testing and research is expected in order to support this hypothesis. Hopefully, many of these findings can be shared in schools and colleges in order to show teens and young adults (or any drug user for that matter), that bath salts and MDMA aren't too far apart in the drug hierarchy.

For more information on our addiction treatment programs and therapeutic approaches, call toll free at: 800-960-5041. Florida Center for Recovery offers residential drug and alcohol rehab treatment through 12-Step and Non 12-Step Programs.

Gold Seal of Approval

View Florida Center for Recovery Photos

Our Facility Is Accredited by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

Alcohol and Drug Rehab in Florida

Beat Addiction

Many of our patients fly in for treatment. Our "fly-in patient" protocol, ensures complete care and a comfortable, pleasant experience. RECOVERY. IT'S WORTH FIGHTING FOR..

Addiction Treatment Center in Florida

Get Help Now!

Chat with someone now about your currrent situation or e-mail us to receive more information or request a call back at your convenience.