Synthetic cathinones – prevalence and motivations for use
This chapter considers the prevalence of and motivations for use of synthetic cathinones. As part of the scene-setting, the availability, legal status, numbers of cathinones, number and quantities confiscated are reviewed. This leads to the first substantive section of the chapter—an epidemiological investigation of the nature and extent of what is known about the use of these molecules. The second major section is more qualitative in its approach to understanding motivations for the use of any drug, Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS), and then synthetic cathinones. An examination is conducted of how cathinones may be compared to other stimulants and why particular cathinones may be preferred to others. The converse situation is then examined, what might be the motivations and reasons for ceasing to take cathinones and why this may not be a rational decision. A brief examination of the consequences of ceasing versus continued use is presented. As it is very likely that further synthetic cathinones will continue to emerge, it is important to gain a much fuller insight into what motivates or causes individuals to use or cease using these molecules, so that communities and societies can respond in appropriate ways to the varying challenges that face them and their citizens.