Despite widespread media attention throughout the country over the past few years, relatively few people are using synthetic cathinones compared to other drugs.

The Stats

  • Calls to poison control centers peaked in 2012 with 2,697, but continued to decline in each subsequent year (998 in 2013, 587 in 2014, and 522 in 2015).
  • Though data from emergency room visits rose sharply in the early 2010s, the most recent national numbers reached over 20,000 (from 2011, compared to 2.5 million ER visits in 2011 from all drugs).
  • A survey of 8th-12th graders showed no more than 1% of 8th graders had tried synthetic cathinones in the past year for 2012-2015, less than 1% of 10th graders, and around 1% of 12th graders.
  • Among a sample of 1,740 adults (average age 26) at nightlife venues in New York City, only 1.1% reported using mephedrone within the past year.

What is hard to measure, but undoubtedly a factor, is how many people may be unknowingly using synthetic cathinones when they are substituted for or cut into “molly.”

See the fact sheet for more information and sources.