MEPHEDRONE Mephedrone , also known as 4-methylemethcathinone (4-MMC), or 4-methylephedrone , is a synthetic stimulant and entactogen drug of the amphetamine and cathinone classes.
MEPHEDRONE It is a synthetic substance based on the cathinone compounds found in the khat plant of eastern Africa.
MEPHEDRONE Mephedrone can come in the form of capsules, tablets or white powder that users may swallow, snort or inject.
MEPHEDRONE In 2009 it became the fourth most popular street drug in the United Kingdom, behind cannabis, cocaine and ecstacy.
MEPHEDRONE Slang names include M-Cat, Bubbles, Meow Meow, Meph and Drone.
THE HISTORY Mephedrone was first seized in France in May 2007 after police sent a tablet that they assumed to be ecstasy to be analysed. There have been recent reports of Mephedrone being sold as ecstacy in the UK, Europe, Australia and the United States.
THE HISTORY In January 2008 the government of Israel made mephedrone illegal.
THE HISTORY It is reportedly currently manufactured in China. The Daily Telegraph reported that manufacturers are making “huge sums of money” from selling the drug,
THE HISTORY In January 2010 Druglink magazine reported that dealers in Britain spend £2,500 to ship one kilogram from China but can then sell it on for £10 a gram making a profit of £7,500.
THE HISTORY A later report in March 2010 stated that the wholesale price of mephedrone was £4,000 per kilogram.
USE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM The drug is used by a diverse range of social groups including teenagers, polydrug using night clubbers and over 40’s with no previous experience of drug use.
USE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM While the evidence is anecdotal, researchers, charity workers, teachers and users have all reported widespread and increasing use of the drug.
USE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM Criminologists also believe the emergence of mephedrone is related to the decreasing purity of ecstacy and cocaine on sale in the UK with average cocaine purity falling to 22% in 2009 (from 60% in 1999) and about half of ecstasy pill seized in 2009 contained no MDMA
EFFECTS The intended effects of mephedrone include increased alertness, euphoria, excitement, feeling of stimulation and openness.
EFFECTS Side effects include nose bleeds, nose burns, hallucinations, nausea, vomiting, blood circulation problems, rashes, anxiety, paranoia, fits and delusions. Other side effects may include poor concentration, poor short-term memory, increased heart rate, abnormal heart beats, depression, increased sweating, dilated pupils and teeth grinding.
EFFECTS Almost nothing is known about the long-term effects of the drug due to the short history of its use.
HARM REDUCTION The charity Lifeline recommends that to reduce the potential harm caused by using mephedrone, users should only use mephedrone occasionally (less than weekly), use less than 0.5g per session, dose orally rather than snort the drug and avoid mixing it with alcohol and other drugs. Users should also drink plenty of water whilst taking the drug as it causes dehydration.
LEGAL STATUS On 7th April 2010 the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (Amendment) 2010-06-03 was passed by parliament making mephedrone and other substituted cathinones Class B drugs from 16th of April 2010.