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Mephedrone: The Facts

By John Clarke

I don’t know how much people outside “the industry” have heard about mephed­rone, but by all accounts, it’s exploded in pop­ularity over the past few months. In the last three months, there’s been at least 50 news stories reposted to Drugs-​​Forum on the topic, and prob­ably quite a few more that haven’t been picked up. We’ve got reports of teens dying, 11 year olds taking the stuff and a guy ripping his balls off — all the classic examples of the media whip­ping up an unne­ces­sary (and untrue) shit storm. I’ve also read lots of anec­dotes about the drug’s pre­val­ence among stu­dents, friend­ship groups and even dealers of illegal drugs (points for diver­si­fic­a­tion!). Since my art­icles on JWH-​​018 have been reas­on­ably popular and stim­u­lated some inter­esting dis­cus­sion, I felt it was about time we gave mephed­rone the same treatment.

The Basics

Mephed­rone is not only cheap and legal, but it’s also incred­ibly effective. It’s a short-​​acting stim­u­lant that feels some­thing like a mixture of cocaine and ecstasy. If that wasn’t enough to explain its pop­ularity, then the icing on the cake is the almost com­plete lack of a comedown the next day when used in mod­er­a­tion. Pur­ities of over 99% make another great selling point when com­pared with similar illegal drugs.

Mephed­rone is a white, crys­tal­line powder with little to no smell. The term “Mephed­rone” comes from methyl–ephed­rone, describing the chem­ical struc­ture.  Other names for it include:Mephedrone Powder

  • 4-​​MethylMethCathinone (meth­cath­inone is another name for ephedrone)
  • 4-​​MMC
  • 4-​​MMCAT
  • MCAT (This is incor­rect, but people use it anyway)
  • Meow
  • Bubbles (seems to be a brand name for cap­sules con­taining it and methylone, another research chemical)

Effects include an initial euphoria, which tapers off to a milder stim­u­la­tion. Mephed­rone does seem to oil social situ­ations rather well and get everyone talking, laughing and having a good time, espe­cially during the initial euphoria. Several users have com­pared it to cocaine, but some how less jittery and “arrogant”, while others will compare it to a more rushy ecstasy (which has to be a good thing, given the current state of the MDMA market). Actu­ally, the effects seem to depend very much on dose and your chosen route of administration.

The most common ways to get this stuff into your blood are snorting it and eating it. As you can prob­ably imagine, eating it will give a longer, less intense exper­i­ence, while doing lines of it will give a much shorter, more intense buzz and make you want to keep taking it, but we’ll get to that later. Oh, I should prob­ably mention that snorting it feels not too dis­sim­ilar from being raped in the sinuses by a Por­tuguese Man o’ War, par­tic­u­larly for your first line.

Other reported methods of admin­is­tra­tion include shoving it up your arse, requiring less than an oral dose and peaking some­where between an oral or insuf­flated dose, and intra­ven­ously injecting it, which appar­ently isn’t that great, having a similar effect profile to being snorted with a million times the risk.


A single oral dose would typ­ic­ally be between 150 mg and 300 mg, while lines can range from 50 mg to a monster 150 mg rail.


MephedroneIf only we knew! Unfor­tu­nately, no one knows any­thing for certain, so we’re forced to do a bit of guess­work. If it feels like a cross between MDMA and cocaine, then we can assume that there’s some sero­tonin and dopamine involve­ment. The apparent addict­ive­ness of mephed­rone (more on that later, srsly), along with talk­at­ive­ness also points to dopamine path­ways, while the sim­il­arity of some side effects com­pared with sero­tonin deple­tion (taking too much MDMA or abruptly dis­con­tinuing selective sero­tonin reup­take inhib­itors [SSRIs]) points to the sero­tonin pathways.

I would love some more inform­a­tion on this, so if you ever come across any­thing in the future, please report back!


There are a number of mis­con­cep­tions sur­rounding mephed­rone, which we should clear up:

Legal does not mean safe

While it seems that users can take vast quant­ities of the stuff and still func­tion,  we don’t know what the long term effects of mephed­rone use will entail. A handful of people have died from taking it too. While the number is tiny com­pared with alcohol, it’s still always a good thing to remember.

Purity isn’t neces­sarily accurate

Mephed­rone bought online will cer­tainly be purer than illegal drugs bought on the street, but claims of 99.9% purity may not be true. Since it’s not sold for human con­sump­tion (like everything legal and fun), I’m not sure an accurate purity measure is required. Also, that 0.01% could be some deadly poison. It prob­ably won’t be, but it might!

“Plant Food” might not be mephedrone

Lots of those news stories I’ve men­tioned above have listed a million dif­ferent “street names” for this drug, including “Plant Food”. No one is actu­ally calling it plant food, it’s just how it, and lots of other com­pounds like it, are sold. If you’ve obtained any­thing psy­cho­active pack­aged as plant food, make sure you know what the hell it is you’re taking!

Side Effects

Side effects can be many and varied, some serious and some not. Mephed­rone shares a number of the typical side effects you’d expect to find with any stim­u­lant, such as:

  • Increased heart rate (tachycardia)
  • Raised blood pres­sure (hypertension)
  • Not wanting to sleep (insomnia)
  • Not wanting to eat (anorexia)
  • Chewing/​grinding teeth (bruxism)
  • Moving your eyes loads (nystagmus)

More mephedrone-​​specific, and so perhaps more serious side effects include

  • Turning blue at the extremities & feeling cold (vasoconstriction)
  • Pains in the chest, throat and nose
  • Nosebleeds when snorted, espe­cially with pro­longed or fre­quent use

The more you use, the more the side effects become apparent and the initial pleasant effects diminish. Also, sig­ni­ficant evid­ence is coming forward sug­gesting cir­cu­la­tion issues are not just vaso­con­stric­tion, but some­thing more serious — autoim­mune vas­cu­litis, where the immune system attacks your own body. This would seem to account for some of the odd and infre­quent side effects, such as bruising or turning blue at the joints. Current reports suggest that this isn’t an issue of a dodgy supply for some people com­pared with the rest, but rather a small per­centage of the pop­u­la­tion are at risk, prob­ably because of some genetic dif­fer­ences. If you’ve noticed this, stop taking mephed­rone! This con­di­tion will only get worse the more you consume. Add to that the usual stimulant-​​induced vaso­con­stric­tion, and you could find your­self with some serious problems.


Mephed­rone can be addictive!

  • It’s easy to have several large ses­sions per week because of the cheapness and lack of comedown. Several people have reported taking over 20g per month.
  • It’s easy to keep taking it, espe­cially when snorted, so a single line can turn into 5g session easily if you lack self control. There have been a few reports of people taking 5-​​7g over a 48 hour long single session.
  • Tol­er­ance can also develop, so more is required for the same effect.

Safe Usage Tips

Mephed­rone is not 100% safe, but then again, nothing is. To make sure you’re as safe as pos­sible, here are a few tips:

  • Don’t buy it in bulk — 80% of people won’t be able to resist the charms of a massive bag of the stuff. Sure, you may save a few quid on the gram, but if your con­sump­tion sky-​​rockets, you’re not saving anything.
  • If you do buy in bulk, limit your­self — it’s all too easy to “just have one more line”, so perhaps let your friend look after your supply for you, or if you’re going out, take a pre­de­ter­mined quantity out with you and stick to it.
  • Don’t snort it if you think there’s any chance you will become addicted to it — this route of admin­is­tra­tion makes you want to keep on taking it much more than an oral dose, despite the snotty nose and watering eyes.
  • Eat healthily before and after — your body needs a good supply of nutri­ents, vit­amins, etc to stay healthy and replenish your neur­o­trans­mit­ters. Forcing your­self to eat, espe­cially during long binges, is essen­tial. At least munch some vitamin tablets or something.
  • Take some mag­nesium sup­ple­ments — this helps relax your muscles and stop all the jaw clenching and chewing that goes with most stimulants.
  • If you’re going to snort it, blow your nose soon after to clear out any powder — drugs aren’t  absorbed from your nos­trils, so you want to get rid of it. I’d also suggest giving your nose a wash with either a spray bottle and some water, or by cram­ming some wet tissue up there with your head tilted back.


205 Responses to Mephedrone: The Facts

  1. danny says:

    just a quick ques­tion has anyone put mkat up there arse, whats the effect like and how do you place it in there

  2. ria says:

    i got tricked into taking mcat on nye and i still feeling ill should i go to the doctors

  3. jane says:

    a friend of mine is taking this, I don’t know
    how long it‘s been going on but she looks
    ter­rible. Her feet are causing her prob­lems
    and she seems to be having psychotic
    periods, I am very con­cerned for her but
    don’t know how to help. I have done research and effects seem to be similar
    to crystal meth

  4. cat says:

    I have been blasting for almost 16 years. Please hear if I say that this results to a life time addic­tion. You never recover fully. I stoped for 4 years, and started again in an wink of an eye. For people like me, its our faith. If you havent started yet, or have been using for under 3 years, stop. It will destroy everything you love and care for without you realising.

  5. Niaomi says:

    i think i’m addicted, i could use some help, or advice. thanks.

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