Mephedrone is a synthetic stimulant which was first identified in 2008 but believed to have been available for purchase over the internet as early as 2007. Mephedrone is also known as terms such as bubbles, meow meow, MCAT, 4-MMCAT and drone. The drug comes in a white powder form and is normally ingested by either snorting or “bombing” by wrapping up in paper and then swallowing. Other ways reported have been by simply dissolving the powder in a drink, injecting or smoking. The cost of mephedrone tends to vary from $15 – $20 a gram over the internet however when buying it from dealers on the street it may be more expensive.
With its legality for use always being in question it was and still is often sold over the internet as a research chemical, bath salts or plant food. None of these “uses” implicate human consumption and so mephedrone managed to bypass certain pieces of legislation which would otherwise have controlled mephedrone from an earlier stage.
The questionable legality of mephedrone around the world:
The first country to make mephedrone illegal was Israel in January of 2008. This was closely followed by other European countries such as Sweden and Denmark both making the possession and distribution illegal in December 2008.
The UK officially made the importation of mephedrone illegal on 29th March 2010 and mephedrone, along with other cathinones, was declared a Class B on 16th April 2010. Being a Class B means that if one was found in possession of mephedrone they could face up to 5 years in jail, if found guilty of possession with intent to supply (even if only giving out to friends) one could face up to 14 years in prison on top of a potentially unlimited fine.
The legality of mephedrone in the United States of America in the past few years however is more difficult to determine with its definitive status being in change on both a state by state basis and more recently a change on a federal level. Certain states such as Alabama (legislation in effect from 2/02/11) and Washington (legislation in effect from 4/15/11) have already passed legislation that came into effect banning the personal use of mephedrone. Other states such as Nevada and Arizona proposed legislation to make mephedrone a controlled illegal substance.
The federal government has proposed legislation for the illegalization of mephedrone alongside other cathinones and on September 7th 2011 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced an emergency scheduling for mephedrone due to come into effect in 30 days time.
What Actually Is Mephedrone?
Mephedrone, as said, comes in the form of a white powder or crystal. It has an odor that can’t be aptly described but, easiest put, smells somewhat a mix of urine, bleach and the addition of a fishy smell. It is created synthetically and belongs to a family of substances called cathinones, closely related to the family known as amphetamines which include well known narcotics like crystal meth and speed.
The chemical name for mephedrone is 4-Methylmethcathinone and the structure looks as such:
On the street mephedrone will often be found mixed with caffeine, other cathinones and whatever an average street dealer will mix into powders such as salt or powdered hay fever pills in order to bulk up and impure the powder for more profit.
The feelings created by mephedrone which attract the users will vary from person to person. Alertness, lack of or disregard for worries, euphoria, talkativeness, empathy towards others and a general boost in energy on both a mental and physical manner.
The effects depend from quantity used and the tolerance of the particular person using. However the time effected per dosage is estimated at an hour.
The Negative Effects of Mephedrone
Aside from the euphoric effects described above prolonged usage of mephedrone can cause harmful side effects to both your body and brain.
Your body is at risk from possible over-stimulating of the heart and circulation resulting in heart palpitations. The nervous system may also be over-stimulated causing fits. Nose bleeds are not uncommon after snorting and rapid changes in body temperature can cause excessive sweating or chills. Grinding teeth are also possible, known as gurning in the UK.
Alongside these physical affects use of mephedrone causes serious mental problems.
Anxiety and paranoia are both caused by and can create hallucinations (both audio and visual) proven to be related to use of mephedrone. Short term memory loss is also attributed to excessive abuse of mephedrone.