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New research sheds light on effects of 'bath salts'

August 8, 2011
by News release
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Mephedrone, an ingredient available online and in drug paraphernalia stores as “bath salts,” is the latest addition to a growing list of synthetic items that young people can obtain to get “high.” Using a rat model, researchers funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) demonstrated that mephedrone affects the brain in ways similar to MDMA (Ecstasy) and methamphetamine, but with some unique properties. In thestudy, published in the
Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, mephedrone was self-administered by rats and had lasting effects on the function of serotonin neurons, suggesting possible toxic effects on the brain. Due to this drug’s relatively recent emergence, this is one of the first studies on mephedrone.

To view a recent message from NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow on “Bath Salts,” go to:
http://www.drugabuse.gov/about/welcome/MessageBathSalts211.html

For more information, please contact the NIDA Press Office at 301-443-6245 or
media@nida.nih.gov.

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