Mephedrone’s cheap prices and one-time status as a ‘legal high’ made it a popular choice among British clubbers. However, in 2010 the party drug was reclassified as a Class B drug. In this blog, Port of Call unearths some dangerous mephedrone facts and side effects and looks to answer some of common mephedrone FAQs.
What is Mephedrone used for?
Some people describe mephedrone as a mix between ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines. Some of the reasons that users take mephedrone is to make them feel confident and euphoric. However, mephedrone side effects can include vomiting and headaches. in extreme cases, it can cause overstimulation of the heart and nervous system, which can put the user at risk of having fits.
Mephedrone facts and side effects
Around three million British people between 16-59 have tried mephedrone, also known as ‘meow meow’ or ‘M-Cat’. FRANK recognises that one of the major risks that mephedrone users face is not knowing what it contains, especially when injecting it directly into the bloodstream. On average, mephedrone is only 50% pure, meaning that it is more than likely that users will be injecting unknown substances.
Mephedrone can have dangerous physical and psychological side effects including:
- Feelings of affection towards people around you
- Overstimulation of the heart
- Overstimulation of the nervous system
Mephedrone’s side effects can also include extreme ‘come downs’ which leave the user severely depressed and craving more.
How long do the effects of Mephedrone last?
The short term effects of Mephedrone can typically last between 2 – 3 hours, however there is little information available around the long term side effects of Mephedrone, as it is a fairly new drug.
What class is Mephedrone?
In April 2010, Mephedrone was no longer considered a ‘legal high’, becoming classified as a class B drug and therefore now falls under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Anyone who is found in possession of mephedrone will be charged, whether it be for self-use or selling purposes. The possession of mephedrone could get users up to five years in jail and/or an unlimited fine.
People have previously tried to get around the law by selling mephedrone as plant food, incense or bath salts because technically this would not be intended to be used for human consumption. However, the repercussions for selling illegal drugs can result in a 14-year jail sentence and/or and unlimited fine.
Mephedrone in the news
In 2015, a student reportedly dismembered himself with a knife after taking mephedrone. Mephedrone is not only harmful to the user, it is can lead to dangerous situations for people around mephedrone users. It has a reputation for causing users to violently attack people and in extreme cases can result in cannibalism.
Former Crime Prevention Minister, Norman Baker, used the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna to urge other countries to ban mephedrone. Forty countries are said to have controlled the synthetic stimulant and the UK alone saw a two-thirds drop in reported use in 2012 compared with 2010/11.
Norman Baker said on GOV.UK: “I am very concerned with the harm being caused to young people by these substances. Our Forensic Early Warning System allows us to closely monitor their availability so we can disrupt their supply and mephedrone is one of more than 250 substances that we have banned.