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Mephedrone

MephedroneSCIENTIFIC TERM:

4-methylmethcathinone.

STREET NAMES:

Mieow, Meow, Meph, Mephedrone, MCAT, 4MMC

EFFECTS:

Users describe the effects of mephedrone as somewhat similar to those of cocaine and MDMA. The compari-son with cocaine seems to be based on mephedrone’s fast onset and short-lasting effects and that it is occa-sionally used via nasal insufflation (snorted). However, users also report increased self-confidence and talka-tiveness on mephedrone, which are cardinal properties of stimulant drugs. The association with MDMA is interesting: most users report that mephedrone’s effects are noticeably different to those of MDMA, being more stimulant-like and lacking the full extent of MDMA’s sensual, empathy-promoting properties. However, users also report definite pro-social effects on mephedrone (e.g., openness) and an enhanced sensitivity to and appreciation of music, effects that are consistent with those of MDMA.

DRUG FORM & METHOD OF USE:

Mephedrone has been found in capsules and powders and can be purchased from the web where it is sold as ‘plant feeder’ or a ‘research chemical’.  It can be taken in two ways. Orally: (powder wrapped in cigarette paper and “bombed” or ingested in capsule or pill form). Swallowing lasts longer than snorting but the effects take longer to appear. It is the most common method of administration.  Nasally: (snorted with straw or banknote.) Snorting comes on quickly and effects are usually felt within 15 minutes and peak within half an hour. Effects fade after around an hour.

HEALTH RISKS (long term) which includes withdrawal & tolerance:

Risks include,  muscular tension (e.g., jaw clenching), excessive sweating, irritability/agitation, a racing and irregular heart beat, convulsions, nausea, cold or blue extremities, skin discolouration, numbness, insomnia, tightness in chest/shortness of breath, anxiety/panic, low mood, headaches, paranoia and hallucinations. Surveys and hospital presentations indicate that: a fast and irregular heart beat, tightness in the chest, agitation, excessive sweating and headaches are especially prevalent side effects of mephedrone use.  One of the most worrying behaviours associated with mephedrone is compulsive use. Mephedrone’s effects are relatively short-lived, especially when it is snorted, and the compulsion to re-dose has been described by some users as “almost irresistible”. Reports suggest it can be compulsive to use and can create a state of psychological dependence (and consequent compulsive re-dosing may itself lead to increased health harms).  It has been reported that once users start a session, they can find it very difficult to stop until they’ve used their entire supply.

LAW:

In 16th April  2010, on request from the then Home Secretary, Alan Johnson, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) compiled a report recommending a generic control on a number of synthetic cathinone derivatives (including “methylone”, another popular legal high) making them Class B.

  1. Mephedrone was first synthesised in 1929 but did not become widely known until it was rediscovered in 2003.
  2. It’s believed that mephedrone has been available since 2007 when police in France received the results back from what they believed was an ecstasy tablet. It started to appear in clubs in Britain in early 2009. Sold as a designer drug, mephedrone has gained quick popularity among rave and dance club goers in Europe and the UK.
  3. Criminologists also believe that the emergence of Mephedrone is related to the de-creasing purity of ecstasy and cocaine on sale in the UK.
  4. Mephedrone is a stimulant that gives users a euphoric rush that removes inhibition. The effects can last 2 to 4 hours, and depending on method of ingestion, can begin to take effect within 2 to 15 minutes
  5. Mephedrone was originally marketed as a plant fertiliser and “research chemical”.
  6. Most Mephedrone sold on the streets have amphetamines or other substances added for effect. These combinations can be deadly; here are a few sources of information regarding what it is, its use, and effects.
  7. So far there is no conclusive scientific proof that mephedrone has been responsible for any deaths in the UK, and scientists are still trying to work out whether it is harmful on its own or if taken with something else.
  8. Mephedrone belongs to a group of drugs known as cathinones which are stimulants similar to amphetamine compounds, but they can also have ecstasy-like effects. 
  9. Reports say that it can be compulsive to use and can create a state of psychological dependence.  Some people report an unpleasant come-down after using.
  10. Mephedrone is made in Chinese laboratories
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