Top 5 Takeaways

  1. Rapid Increase in Eutylone Detection: From January–June 2017 to January–June 2021, eutylone detections in drug items tested by law enforcement increased from fewer than 10 to 8,379, making it the seventh most identified drug.
  2. Concentration of Deaths in the South: In 2020, 343 eutylone-involved deaths were reported, with 75.5% occurring in Florida and Maryland. These deaths commonly co-involved illicitly manufactured fentanyls (77.3%) and cocaine or methamphetamine (53.1%).
  3. Evidence of Unintended Exposure: Among eutylone-involved deaths with medical examiner or coroner reports, 12.6% had negative MDMA toxicology findings but evidence of MDMA use, indicating potential unintended exposure to eutylone.
  4. International Scheduling: Following a rapid increase in eutylone availability, the UN Commission on Narcotics Drugs internationally scheduled eutylone in 2022, potentially leading to its replacement with newer synthetic cathinones.
  5. Need for Enhanced Surveillance and Prevention: The prevalence of eutylone and its co-involvement in overdose deaths underscore the need for increased awareness, enhanced surveillance for synthetic cathinones, and access to harm reduction strategies.

Original Article Author and Citation

Corresponding Author

R. Matt Gladden,

Suggested Citation

Gladden RM, Chavez-Gray V, O’Donnell J, Goldberger BA. Notes From the Field: Overdose Deaths Involving Eutylone (Psychoactive Bath Salts) — United States, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1032–1034. DOI:


The report highlights the significant increase in eutylone, a synthetic cathinone, detections and related overdose deaths, particularly concentrated in the southern United States. It emphasizes the need for further investigation into the pharmacological profiles and relative potencies of synthetic cathinones compared to MDMA and other stimulants.


Data from the State Unintentional Drug Overdose Reporting System (SUDORS) involving eutylone-contributed deaths across 43 states and the District of Columbia for the first half of 2020 were analyzed. This included reviewing death certificates and medical examiner or coroner reports.


The discussion focuses on the regional concentration of eutylone-involved deaths, the co-involvement of other illicit substances, and the potential for unintentional exposure to eutylone. It also highlights the international regulatory response to the rise in eutylone use.


The report concludes with a call for enhanced surveillance and prevention strategies, including educating potential users about the risks of synthetic cathinones, improving toxicology testing, and expanding access to harm reduction strategies.

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