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Case Report of Cathinone-Like Designer Drug Intoxication Psychosis and Addiction With Serum Identification

Sadeg, Nouredine PhD; Darie, Alexandre MD; Vilamot, Bernard MD; Passamar, Marc MD; Frances, Bernard PhD; Belhadj-Tahar, Hafid MD, PhD

Addictive Disorders & Their Treatment:
doi: 10.1097/ADT.0b013e318285308d
Case Report

The use of designer drugs commonly marketed as “Bath Salts” or “Energy” has dramatically risen in recent years. Fatalities and cases of aggressive behavior, even cannibalism have been recently reported in the media. However, these cases have been poorly documented. In this paper, we report a case of repetitive and similar acute psychotic episodes induced by Energy 3 intake. Comparative Analyses of Energy 3 sample and patient’s serum by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry detected the presence of 2 synthetic cathinone derivatives: methylenedioxypyrovalerone and pentylone. Finally, this patient’s clinical picture is characterized by the insidious development of dependence to this product. The absence of patient’s personal addiction history, the late onset of this dependence, and its high intensity, suggest a high addiction potential of these substances.

Author Information

*Laboratory Toxicology

Psychiatric Department, Centre Hospitalier René Dubos, Pontoise

Groupe Recherche & Expertise Toxicologiques (AFPREMED), Toulouse

CNRS UMR, Université Paul Sabatie, Toulouse

§Psychiatric Department of “Fondation Bonsauver d’Alby,” Albi, France

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Hafid Belhadj-Tahar, MD, PhD, Service d’accueil des urgences spécialisées, Fondation Bonsauveur d’Alby, 1 rue Lavazière; 81025 Albi, France (e-mail:

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