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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.

Dosage

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.

Pharmacology

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!

Misconceptions

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.

Warning

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.

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206 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.

  6. anne says:

    My husband has been using cat for a while now. He’s ear started bleed­ing this morning.why is this?? Anne

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