Mephadrone

White Magic, Miaow, Meph, Meow Meow, MC, m-smack, M-Cat, Drone, Charge, Bubble, Bounce, 4-MMC
questionmarkWhat is mephedrone?

Mephedrone (sometimes called ‘meow meow’) is a powerful stimulant and is part of a group of drugs that are closely related to the amphetamines, like speed and ecstasy. There isn't much evidence about mephedrone and its long term effects as it's quite a new drug but because it is similar to speed and ecstasy the long term effects may well be similar. There have reports of people hospitalised due to the short-term effects.

Also, you can never be entirely sure that what you’re buying is actually mephedrone and not something else.

The main effects and risks of mephedrone include:

  • Euphoria, alertness and feelings of affection towards the people around you.
  • Feelings of anxiety and paranoia.
  • Mephedrone, or meow meow, can also overstimulate your heart and circulation; and can overstimulate your nervous system, with risk of fits.

There have been reports that more people are injecting mephedrone. Injecting any drug, or sharing injecting equipment, runs the risk of the person injecting catching or spreading a virus such hepatitis C or HIV. There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that an abscess or a blood clot will develop, leading to further damage, such as gangrene.

What does mephedrone look like?

Mephedrone can be found as a fine white, off-white or a yellowish powder. It was originally sold over the internet as a ‘legal’ alternative to drugs like speed, ecstasy and cocaine. But to get around the law, dealers said that the mephedrone they were selling was plant food or a bath salt and not for human consumption.

How do people take mephedrone?

Mephedrone is usually snorted like cocaine or is wrapped in paper and swallowed (‘bombed’ is a slang name used for this). It can also be found as capsules and pills and can be smoked. Much less often, mephedrone is injected.

Injecting mephedrone, and sharing injecting equipment including needles and syringes, runs the risk of the person injecting catching or spreading a virus, such as HIV or hepatitis C.

There is also the risk that veins may be damaged and that something nasty will develop, such as an abscess or a clot.

What does mephedrone do?

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 to those around them
  • Mephedrone can make users feel sick, paranoid and anxious, and it can cause vomiting and headaches.
  • It risks overstimulating and damaging your heart and your circulation.
  • It also risks overstimulating your nervous system, which may cause hallucinations, feelings of agitation and even fits.
  • It can reduce your appetite, so you don’t feel hungry.

Other effects that people have reported include heart palpitations, insomnia, loss of short-term memory, vertigo (a form of dizziness), grinding of teeth, sweating and uncomfortable changes in body temperature.

Taking mephedrone does involve risks – and the dangers and long-term effects are becoming clearer as more reports emerge. Here’s what we know:

  • Users have reported blue or cold fingers – this is probably because mephedrone affects the heart and the circulation.
  • Some users have also had severe nosebleeds after snorting mephedrone.
  • There were six deaths involving mephedrone reported in 2011 in England and Wales.
  • Overheating has been a significant cause of deaths when other amphetamine-type drugs, such as ecstasy, have been used along with mephedrone.
  • 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.
  • Injecting can also cause damage to veins and arteries, and may cause ulcers 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.
exclamationmarkMephedrone and alcohol

You increase the risks to yourself if you combine alcohol with mephedrone or any other drug that causes a ‘high’ – including increasing the risk of death.

What is mephedrone cut with?

Research suggests that on average mephedrone is 50% pure, being mixed or cut with other substances, such as caffeine, monosodium glutamate (normally used as a flavour enhancer) and benzocaine (a local anaesthetic which can produce a ‘numbing’ effect). In some cases, the powder people buy from a dealer contains no mephedrone at all!

Can you get addicted to mephedrone?

The simple answer is – yes – you can get addicted to mephedrone. Reports say that mephedrone use can lead to a strong psychological dependence on the drug, and can lead to the user craving – and taking – increasing amounts. 

This kind of behaviour increases all of the above risks to your health. 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’.

lawiconMephedrone and the law
  • Mephedrone is a Class B drug – so it’s illegal to have for yourself, give away or sell.
  • Possession is illegal and can get you up to five years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.
  • Supplying someone else, even your friends, can get you fourteen years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.
What if you’re caught?

If the Police catch you with mephedrone, they’ll always take some action. This could include a formal caution, arrest and prosecution. A conviction for a drug-related offence could have a serious impact. It can stop you visiting certain countries – for example the United States – and limit the types of jobs you can apply for.

lightbulbDid you know?
  • Like drinking and driving, driving when high is illegal - and you can still be unfit to drive the day after using mephedrone. You can get a heavy fine, be disqualified from driving or even go to prison.
  • Allowing other people to supply drugs in your house or any other premises is illegal. If the police catch people supplying illegal drugs in a club they can potentially prosecute the landlord, club owner or any person concerned in the management of the premises.

Drugs & Alcohol


Legal Highs

Legal Highs’ are substances which produce the same, or similar effects, to drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy, but are not controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

They are considered illegal to sell, supply or advertise for “human consumption” under current medicines legislation. To get round this sellers will refer to them as research chemicals, plant food, bath crystals or pond cleaner.

There are a large number of legal highs, but here are a few key facts:

  • Just because a drug is legal to possess, it doesn’t mean it’s safe.
  • It is becoming increasingly clear that ‘legal highs’ are far from harmless and can have similar health risks to drugs like cocaine, ecstasy and speed.
  • Risks of ‘legal highs’ can include reduced inhibitions, drowsiness, excited or paranoid states, coma, seizures, and death.
  • These risks are increased if used with alcohol or other drugs.
  • It is likely that drugs sold as a ‘legal high’ may actually contain one or more substances that are actually illegal to possess. What you may think is a legal high that you can’t get in trouble for having, could be something completely different, and in fact a class B drug.

Worried About Someone?

Not all drugs are addictive, and everybody that uses drugs doesn’t become dependent. When drug use becomes problematic it can lead to addiction and signs this has happen can include:

  • The need for regular use.
  • Constantly have drugs in their possession.
  • Strange and ‘out of character’ behavior
  • Mood Swings
  • Physical changes like Weight loss
  • Sometimes people don’t recognise their drug use has become a problem. They refuse to believe that they are addicted or dependent. If you think you think a friend has a problem and you want to help them, think about how you're going to approach it and what you’re going to say?

    It could be a sensitive subject for them and you don’t what to looking like you’re getting. They may not listen to you at first but don’t let this put you off. The best thing that you can do is to be there for them, to support and encourage them to change. You can also help by keeping your friend away from situations that can trigger or expose them to drug use.

    Some people are able to overcome their issues with drugs before any serious harm has been done to them, or their family and friends. Other users have to hit rock bottom before they can see the harm and damage they are doing and start addressing their drug use.