Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC), or 4-methylephedrone)
(meph, mcat, drone, miaow miaow - NOT to be confused with methadone)
A synthetic substance based on the (cathinone) compounds that exist in the Khat plant of East Africa, mephedrone usually comes in powder form, although it can also be found in capsules or tablets.
The drug can be dabbed, snorted or, more unusually, injected. It tastes ruddy awful and if you snort it your hooter will know all about it - it can burn like mad.
Originally used in legal highs like Neodoves from 2007, mephedrone's consistency of strength and easy availability over the internet quickly turned it into one of the most popular drugs in the UK before it was outlawed in April 2010.
The drug affects users in different ways, but small dabs usually bring on a speedy/coke buzz, with increased alertness, liveliness and chattiness, while snorting brings up a more powerful, speedy MDMA-like experience.
Bigger lines can bring on a more euphoric buzz, but like with most drugs, the impact quickly diminishes less with each subsequent dose.
You can usually feel the drug within 15–45 minutes if dabbed; snorting a line gives you an almost immediate hit, peaking after around 30 mins.
Meph usually lasts for around two to three hours, with the MDMA-like buzz fading away fast to be replaced by a more coke/speed experience.
Be warned: the drug is incredibly moreish, and there's plenty of reports of users staying up for binges lasting several days. Don't take a huge bag out with you as you'll most likely cane the lot.
Side effects: Like most amphetamine-like drugs, side effects can include teeth-grinding, increased sweating, pumping heart, lack of concentration and an unending ability to talk bollocks for hours on end.
Health risks: Prolonged use can bring on a loss of appetite, lack of sleep, anxiety, paranoia and depression, and there is the possibility of over-stimulating the heart and the nervous system, increasing the risk of a fit.
If you're racking off line after line, your nose is likely to suffer from nose bleeds and burns. A survey conducted by the National Addiction Centre, UK, found 67% of mephedrone users experienced sweating, 51% suffered from headaches, 43% from heart palpitations, 27% from nausea and 15% from cold or blue fingers.
There were six deaths involving mephedrone reported in 2011 in England and Wales.
THE LAW: Mephedrone and related cathinones became Class B substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 on 16 April 2010. Possession is illegal with a maximum sentence of five years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.
Supplying someone else, even your pals, comes with a hefty maximum sentence of fourteen years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.
From mephedrone to Benzo Fury: the new 'legal highs' [Guardian Jan 2013]
Mephedrone [Wikipedia article]
Mephedrone articles archive [Guardian]
Meow meow ex-addict reveals his 28 gram a day mephedrone hell [Wales Online Mar 2013]
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