Also Known As: Mcat, M-smack, Magic, Drone, Bubbles, Charge, White Magic, Bounce, Plant Food, Miaow, Methylone, 4MMC, Miaow Miaow, Methedrone, Meph, Meow Meow, MDPV, M-cat, MC

Category: Stimulant

WHAT IS IT?

Mephedrone is a stimulant drug belonging to the chemical family of the ‘cathinones’ group of drugs. Cathinones are a group of drugs related to amphetamine compounds like speed and ecstasy.

It was originally sold over the internet as a ‘legal’ alternative to drugs like speed, ecstasy and cocaine. To get around the law, dealers often described mephedrone as plant food, research chemicals or bath salts, and not for human consumption. Mephedrone was made illegal in 2010.

WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
Mephedrone.jpg

Cathinone substances such as mephedrone and MCAT come in capsules and powders and are sometimes mixed with other cathinones and caffeine. Mephedrone can be found as a fine white, off-white or a yellowish powder. 

HOW IT'S TAKEN

Mephedrone is usually snorted or swallowed. It can also be found as capsules and pills and can be smoked. Much less often, mephedrone is injected.

EFFECTS

The effect of mephedrone is often described as a mix between amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine. The effects of mephedrone last for about an hour, but this can vary.

  • It can make you feel alert, confident, talkative and euphoric and some people will temporarily feel strong affection for those around them
  • It can reduce your appetite, so you don’t feel hungry
  • It can also cause anxiety and paranoid states in some
RISKS

Because these drugs are relatively new, the risks are unpredictable and are often still being researched. However, likely dangers associated with mephedrone are becoming clearer as more reports emerge. Risks of Mephedrone use include:

  • Feeling sick, paranoid and anxious.
  • Vomiting and headaches.
  • Overstimulating and damaging your heart and your circulation.
  • Overstimulating your nervous system, which may cause hallucinations, feelings of agitation and even fits.
  • Palpitations, insomnia, loss of short-term memory, vertigo, grinding of teeth, sweating and uncomfortable changes in body temperature.
  • Blue or cold fingers – this is probably because mephedrone affects the heart and the circulation.
  • Severe nosebleeds have been reported after snorting.
  • Injecting mephedrone is particularly dangerous. It's much easier to overdose when injecting. Research suggests that on average mephedrone is 50% pure, so it’s not just the mephedrone that goes in to your bloodstream. 
  • Damage to veins and arteries, ulcers, blood clots and even gangrene (that’s when bits of the body start to die). Viral hepatitis and HIV/AIDS infections can be spread by users sharing needles, syringes or other injecting equipment.
  • A number of deaths across the UK have been reported due to the use of mephedrone.
  • You increase the risks to yourself if you combine alcohol with mephedrone or any substance that causes a ‘high’, including increasing the risk of death. Overheating has been a significant cause of deaths when other amphetamine-type drugs, such as ecstasy, have been used along with mephedrone.

Reports say you can get addicted to mephedrone and that use can lead to a strong psychological dependence on the drug, and can leave the user craving – and taking – increasing amounts. Some users say that once they have started a mephedrone session, they find it very difficult to stop until they’ve used their entire supply - this is sometimes called ‘fiending’.

LEGAL STATUS

Mephedrone and related cathinones became Class B substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 on 16 April 2010. Ths includes, but is not restricted to:

  • 4-Methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) 
  • 4-Methoxymethcathinone (bk-PMMA/ methedrone) 
  • 3-Fluoromethcathinone 
  • 2-Methylamino-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)propan-1-one (bk-MDMA/methylone) 
  • 2-Methylamino-1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)butan-1-one (bk-MBDB/butylone) 
  • Methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV)

Possession can get you up to five years in prison, or an unlimited fine or both. Supplying someone else, including your friends, can get you up to fourteen years in prison or an unlimited fine or both.

Remember: Having a criminal record can make it difficult for you to get a job or visa if you want to travel abroad.

What's the difference between possession & supply (dealing)? What happens if you're under 16? Learn more about drugs and the law.