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May 19, 1993

'Cat': Methcathinone—A New Drug of Abuse

JAMA. 1993;269(19):2508. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500190050033

To the Editor.  —Methcathinone or "cat" is a new psychostimulant of abuse in Michigan and northeast Wisconsin. Already a few clandestine laboratories synthesizing this compound have been found in these states. It is likely that many more laboratories will spring up nationwide as word spreads regarding the relative ease of synthesizing methcathinone from readily available materials and the drug's high potency and self-reinforcing effects.1Methcathinone reportedly has been responsible for numerous drug overdose deaths within the former Soviet Union but had been previously unknown in the United States.2 Early in 1992, the Drug Enforcement Administration placed methcathinone into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act.3 By fall of 1992, the first reports in the lay press described the potency and addictive potential of methcathinone as dwarfing cocaine.1According to addicts, methcathinone is more potent and addictive than other psychostimulants. Addicts describe long-lived intoxicating effects of up