Mephedrone, an artificial stimulant, was first synthesised in 1929 but did not become widely known until it was rediscovered in 1999–2000. At that point, producing and possessing in many countries was legal.
Belonging to a group of drugs closely related to amphetamines, Mephedrone is commonly found in powder form on the black market, allowing easy ingestion through swallowing or snorting. Additionally, it is available in the form of pills or capsules.
Street names for Mephedrone include:
- Meow (or miaow)
What to expect when taking Mephedrone
With Mephedrone being an illegal synthetic stimulant, you never know how much substance you’ll get with each dosage. No rules or regulations govern exact measurements for each tablet or container. Thus, your chances of overdosing can be high.
If you’re careless, you can succumb to several hazardous side effects that include:
- Heart attack
- Sudden death
Because Mephedrone is still relatively new, we can only deduce its exact consequences from hospitalisations of similar problems. More research must be done to form a complete picture of the adverse side effects of using Mephedrone.
Mephedrone’s effect on the brain
Recent research shows that Mephedrone has a more significant impact on the brain than ecstasy. Mephedrone releases more neurotransmitters, translating to more intense withdrawal symptoms.
Furthermore, Mephedrone travels to the brain faster than ecstasy, and the body can metabolise the drug out of your system much quicker. Thus, it’s faster and easier to experience a high when taking Mephedrone, which often leads to the user searching for another “quick boost” to get high again. That’s when binging behaviour tends to occur.
Abusing Mephedrone like this will lead to one of two outcomes — overdose or eventual mephedrone addiction.
How long does it take for side effects to kick in?
Typically, you’ll begin to feel the effects of Mephedrone between 15 and 45 minutes after consuming the drug. The effects of the drug will usually last between two to three hours.
After the initial high has worn off, Mephedrone will metabolise into the body, which will cause the brain to experience a slump because it isn’t producing enough dopamine. To avoid the feeling of “coming down” of the drug, many users will rush to take even more Mephedrone, thus continuing the cycle anew. Unfortunately, binging in this manner can lead to an overdose.
What does Mephedrone look like?
- A fine white powder
- A delicate off-white or yellowish powder
Mephedrone was initially sold as an equivalent to ecstasy, speed, and cocaine. Dealers defined the drug as ‘plant food’ or ‘bath salts‘ and labelled it ‘not for human consumption to get around the law.
What does Mephedrone smell and taste like?
People have related the smell to cat urine and exhaust fumes and say it tastes foul and metallic.
How do people take Mephedrone?
- Snorting is the most common way of taking Mephedrone, but people also swallow it in ‘bombs’ or wrap it in a cigarette paper and swallow it, known as ‘bombing’.
- It is also taken in capsules and pills and injected, which is very risky because of the fast-acting intensity of the hit and can result in an overdose.
On average, users have a higher chance of overdosing on Mephedrone than becoming dependent. Due to this fact, many users do not develop withdrawal symptoms. The body’s ability to metabolise the drug out of the system quickly can make the adverse effects of the drug feel more akin to a hangover rather than a withdrawal from an illegal stimulant.
Typically, these withdrawal symptoms will last for a couple of days before they begin to go away. Those who have used Mephedrone for more extended periods will more likely than not experience withdrawal symptoms of a more intense nature. These will kick in around a day after the last hit of the drug and will reach a peak around two to three days later. Symptoms should completely disappear after one whole week.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:
Physical withdrawal symptoms include:
- Digestive problems
- Nasal congestion
- Return of appetite
- Digestive issues
If you’re experiencing any or all of the above, there’s a high chance you’ve developed a mephedrone addiction.
What makes Mephedrone so dangerous is not so much the possibility of developing a dependence on the drug but the extreme potential of overdosing. You must seek treatment immediately if you or someone you know abuses Mephedrone.