Mephedrone is a psychoactive drug that temporarily enhances both mental and physical function. It is a synthetic stimulant, also called 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC), or 4-methylephedrone, and should not be confused with mephedrone, which is an opiate.
Street names for mephedrone include meph, MCAT, bubbles, drone, miaow, white magic, and M-smack.
Mephedrone is considered a recreational drug, which means there is no medical justification for its psychoactive effects. It is usually sold in powder form, but a much stronger batch of the drug which looks like crystals or shards of glass has hit some areas of the country.
Mephedrone abuse grew rapidly in the UK from 2009-2010. At the time, it was sold as a powder packed in branded packets that were labelled ‘not for human consumption’ or ‘plant food’. This helped dealers effectively avoid the provisions of consumer standards, the Medicines Act, and the Misuse of Drugs Act.
After it was classified as a Class B drug in the UK in April 2010, mephedrone immediately went underground and its sale was taken over by street dealers. This increased the price of the drug and the purity of mephedrone sold on the streets since is very questionable.
At present, the sale, possession or use of mephedrone is illegal. However, the drug is still widely made in China, and exported to other countries around the world for recreational use.
Prolonged use of mephedrone can have adverse effects on the heart, arteries, and kidneys, with the most common side effects of mephedrone use being:
– Paranoia or anxiety: drugs which act upon the nervous system are associated with negative psychological episodes. Though these effects will often go away once the substance leaves the system, there is no guarantee against long-lasting mental issues.
– Sweating and dehydration: the stimulating effects of mephedrone put every bodily system into overdrive causing excessive sweating, ultimately leading to dehydration.
– Nausea: an elevated mental state can be disorientating and lead to bouts of painful nausea and vomiting.
– Headaches: these can range from mild to agonising. Additionally, they may be the result of the dehydration.
– Seizures: this is one of the most serious side effects of mephedrone. Uncontrollable and random seizures can prove detrimental, especially if they occur when you are alone, with no one to assist you.
– Heart and circulatory problems: overstimulation has the capacity to put too much pressure on the heart and surrounding tissues. Poor circulation can sometimes turn lips and fingertips blue.
– Mephedrone has also been linked to impotence in males.
Because mephedrone is a purely recreational drug, with no medicinal uses, taking it in any capacity is considered abuse. The drug can only be obtained illegally, with the sole intent of use being to experience its unique psychoactive effects.
If you suspect someone you love is abusing mephedrone, keep an eye out for any of the following physical signs:
Ending the cycle of addiction is absolutely possible, with many treatment options available. Whether you or a loved one are struggling, you can get the help you need and deserve.
Due to its dangerous side effects, the recommended treatment for mephedrone addiction is to attend a legal high rehab facility. Here, you will undergo a supervised detox, and receive comprehensive amphetamine treatment, including a combination of methods which address your specific treatment needs and any other co-occurring disorders or health issues.
Therapy may include various types of psychotherapies, offered in an individual, group, or family counselling setting. Each therapy type caters to different needs and works through specific issues. Medications may involve prescriptions which help the individual wean off the substance, as to avoid the symptoms of severe withdrawal. Various non-addictive medications may also be used to treat other disorders the individual may have, such as mental health disorders.
If you have been abusing mephedrone for a long time, it is likely you would have developed a dependence on the drug and may begin to experience intense withdrawal symptoms a day after your last dose, peaking within two or three days, and ending after about seven days.
Psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:
Physical withdrawal symptoms may include:
Because mephedrone binges can be so dangerous, and its dosage and effects so hard to predict, a medically supervised detox is strongly recommended. Typically, no specific drugs are used to ease withdrawal symptoms, however, they can be individually addressed if they become uncomfortable or disruptive. Psychological problems like depression or anxiety can be managed with small doses of prescription medication if they become problematic or chronic. Working with a medically trained professional to help manage these symptoms during and after detox can also help to identify any internal harm, like heart or kidney damage, that may require long-term care.
Whether you have been abusing mephedrone, or are battling full-blown addiction, help is available. Our team of dedicated professionals work tirelessly to ensure every person receives the best level of treatment and care. At UKAT, we provide rehabilitation programmes specifically tailored to each individual’s needs. So don’t let addiction consume another moment of your life. Get in touch as soon as possible, and one of our advisors will discuss which treatment options are available to you.