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Wales Drug and Alcohol Helpline

Freephone: 0808 808 2234
Or text DAN to: 81066



What does Cathinone look like?

Cathinone is naturally occurring chemical compound; it is a component of the shrub Catha edulis - Khat. Cathinone can also be manufactured synthetically, sometimes referred to as 'substituted cathinones'. Synthetic cathinone is the Key ingredient of recreational drugs such as Mephedrone.

Cathinone: A component of Khat

Scientific Names


Generic Name


Effects Of Cathinone

Desired Effects:

Talkative, euphoria and excitement, alertness, excitement, dilated pupils.


Insomnia, loss of appetite, palpitations, dry mouth, hyperactivity, constipation.



Anxiety, manic behaviour, Paranoia, Tolerance.


Depression, irritability, psychological Dependence, although little is known about long term damage.

Reducing Harm

Please view our Reducing Harm page for more information.

How does Cathinone work?

Central nervous system Stimulant. Cathinone has a similar structure to amphetamine and induces the release of dopamine.

Legal status of Cathinone

Cathinone and cathine are both Class C, under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

How Is Cathinone Taken?

Various, depending on the form of the drug.


Various, depending on the form of the drug.

Medical uses of Cathinone


Where does it come from?

Cathinones are naturally occurring chemical compounds; they are a component of the shrub Catha edulis - Khat. Cathinone is chemically similar to Ephedrine, cathine and other Amphetamines.

Helping services

Most areas of the UK have 'street agencies' or projects (sometimes called community drug services or community drug teams) which offer a range of services including information and advice, counselling, needle exchanges and sometimes support groups and complementary therapies such as acupuncture. The increase in stimulant use has led to some agencies offering specialist counselling, cognitive behaviour therapy, acupuncture and other alternative therapies and prescribing of anti-depressants, and also possible referral to residential rehabilitation. Some services have extended working hours and may offer weekend support. GPs and possibly the local hospital A&E department can make referrals to specialist drug services as well as general medical services, information and advice often in partnership with a drug agency or Drug Dependency Unit.

Parents & other relatives

Drug agencies also provide lots of advice and support to parents of people using these drugs. Many street agencies can provide relative support groups or counselling for family members, partners etc.

You can view a list of National Drug Agencies.

If you would like to talk about Cathinone problems then please call the DAN 24/7 Helpline on:

0808 808 2234
Last updated: 02 September 2012