Mephedrone, a synthetic stimulant often called “M-CAT” or “meow meow,” has gained notoriety recently as a designer drug and research chemical. As with any substance in the ever-evolving landscape of recreational drugs, the sellers and vendors who make mephedrone available online play a crucial role in its distribution and the potential risks associated with its use.
Online sellers offering mephedrone have increased in response to the demand for novel psychoactive substances. While some claim to provide high-quality products for research purposes, it is essential to approach such vendors cautiously. The lack of regulation in this industry raises concerns about the purity and safety of the product being sold. Buyers looking to purchase mephedrone must exercise due diligence in selecting a reputable seller.
One significant concern is the potential for mislabeling or adulterating mephedrone by unscrupulous sellers. Research chemicals like mephedrone often fall into legal grey areas, making them susceptible to manipulation by vendors seeking to circumvent regulations. Buyers may unwittingly receive substances other than what they ordered, leading to unpredictable and potentially dangerous effects.
Furthermore, the online availability of mephedrone fosters accessibility, making it easier for individuals to obtain this substance for non-research purposes. This availability raises public health and safety concerns, as mephedrone can pose significant risks, including addiction, cardiovascular issues, and psychological disturbances.
Another critical aspect to consider is the lack of reliable information and guidelines for the responsible use of mephedrone. Research chemicals often lack the extensive research and documentation available for well-established drugs, making it challenging for users to make informed decisions.
- 1 SUMMARY
- 2 Chemistry
- 3 Pharmacology
- 4 Subjective effects
- 5 Toxicity
- 6 Dosage
- 7 Legal status
- 8 FAQ
- 8.1 1. What is Mephedrone?
- 8.2 2. Is Mephedrone legal?
- 8.3 3. What are the effects of Mephedrone?
- 8.4 4. How is Mephedrone used?
- 8.5 5. What are the risks and side effects of Mephedrone?
- 8.6 6. Is Mephedrone addictive?
- 8.7 7. Can Mephedrone be used safely?
- 8.8 8. Is there a safe dosage for Mephedrone?
- 8.9 9. What is the best way to stay safe when using Mephedrone?
- 8.10 10. Where can I get help for Mephedrone-related issues?
- 9 References
4-Methylmethcathinone, commonly known as 4-MMC or Mephedrone, belongs to the novel entactogen-stimulant category within the cathinone class of substances. Derived from the active component of the khat plant, Catha edulluis, it is believed to exert its effects by facilitating the release of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain.
Mephedrone’s history dates back to its initial synthesis in 1929, but it remained relatively obscure until its rediscovery in 2003. By 2007, it had surfaced for sale on the internet, catching the attention of law enforcement agencies by 2008. Within a short span, by 2010, it had become prevalent across Europe, particularly gaining prominence in the United Kingdom.
The subjective effects of Mephedrone encompass stimulation, anxiety alleviation, disinhibition, heightened empathy, increased sociability, relaxation, enhanced libido, and euphoria. It is often described as inducing a blend of classic stimulant and entactogenic sensations reminiscent of substances like cocaine and MDMA. Mephedrone is available in tablet or powder form, allowing users various administration methods such as ingestion, nasal insufflation, injection, or rectal insertion. Notably, it has also been misrepresented as MDMA or “molly.”
Limited data is available concerning Mephedrone’s pharmacological characteristics, metabolic processes, and potential toxicity. Preliminary evidence suggests the possibility of neurotoxic and cardiotoxic properties associated with its use. Given the limited knowledge surrounding this substance, it is strongly recommended to adopt harm reduction practices when considering its use to mitigate potential risks.
In conclusion, Mephedrone’s emergence in the recreational drug scene underscores the need for comprehensive research and understanding of its effects and safety profile. Users should exercise caution and prioritize harm-reduction strategies if they engage with this substance.
|show IUPAC name|
|CAS Number||1189805-46-6 |
1189726-22-4 (HCl): 5
|CompTox Dashboard (EPA)||DTXSID20891437|
|Chemical and physical data|
|Molar mass||177.247 g·mol−1|
Mephedrone, also known as 4-methylmethcathinone, falls within the synthetic cathinone family. Structurally, cathinones share similarities with amphetamines, characterized by a phenethylamine core. This core comprises a phenyl ring linked to an amino (NH2) group via an ethyl chain, with an extra methyl substitution at Rα. While amphetamines and cathinones are alpha-methylated phenethylamines, cathinones distinguish themselves by featuring an additional carbonyl group at R1.
Mephedrone further distinguishes itself through additional methyl substitutions at RN, a characteristic it shares with substances like MDMA and methamphetamine. Additionally, it includes alterations at R4 of its phenyl ring, contributing to its unique chemical structure within the cathinone family.
Given its chemical structure, mephedrone is likely to function as both a releasing agent and a reuptake inhibitor for monoamine neurotransmitters, including dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline.
Several studies conducted towards the end of 2011 delved into the effects of mephedrone on the brains of rats and explored its potential for reinforcement. These studies employed microdialysis techniques to collect dopamine and serotonin, subsequently measuring increases in their levels. The results revealed that mephedrone administration led to a remarkable surge in dopamine levels, peaking at a 500% increase, and serotonin levels spiked by approximately 950%. The peak concentrations for dopamine and serotonin were observed at 40 and 20 minutes post-injection, respectively, and both had returned to baseline levels by 120 minutes after administration.
Furthermore, an analysis of the dopamine-to-serotonin ratio indicated that mephedrone primarily acted as a serotonin releaser, with a ratio of 1.22:1 (serotonin vs. dopamine). Additionally, the half-lives for the decline in dopamine and serotonin levels were calculated, revealing decay rates of 24.5 minutes and 25.5 minutes, respectively.
These findings shed light on how mephedrone elicits a substantial increase in both dopamine and serotonin levels, which, in turn, provide a plausible explanation for the pronounced euphoria and stimulating effects associated with its use. The rapid ascent and subsequent decline in dopamine levels may also contribute to some addictive tendencies observed in certain mephedrone users.
Disclaimer: The effects detailed below are derived from the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), based on anecdotal user reports and the contributors’ analyses at PsychonautWiki. As such, they should be approached with a level of scepticism.
Acknowledging that these effects may not necessarily manifest predictably or consistently, with higher doses increasing the likelihood of eliciting the full spectrum of effects, is crucial. Moreover, higher doses can also heighten the risk of adverse outcomes, including addiction, severe harm, or even fatality ☠.
- Stimulation: Mephedrone is renowned for its potent physical stimulation and energy boost. It fosters activities like running, climbing, and dancing, making it a popular choice at musical events like festivals and raves. This stimulation is characterized as intense and somewhat “forced,” often causing restlessness, jaw clenching, involuntary bodily shakes, and vibrations, leading to unsteady hands and reduced motor control.
- Spontaneous Physical Sensations: Often described as a moderate to euphoric tingling sensation enveloping the entire body, the “body high” of mephedrone can escalate to overwhelming pleasure at higher doses. This sensation steadily intensifies upon onset, culminating at its peak.
- Physical Euphoria
- Vibrating Vision: At higher doses, individuals may experience rapid, involuntary eye movements causing blurry and temporarily unfocused vision, referred to as opsoclonus.
- Dehydration: Mephedrone commonly induces dry mouth and dehydration due to an increased heart rate and strong motivation for strenuous physical activities. While hydration is essential, excessive water intake may lead to water intoxication, so it is advisable to sip water rather than overdrink.
- Difficulty Urinating: Elevated doses of mephedrone may result in temporary difficulty urinating, a typically harmless effect.
- Vasoconstriction: Approximately 15% of mephedrone users may experience vasoconstriction, characterized by cold or blue fingers and lips.
- Tactile Enhancement
- Increased Heart Rate
- Increased Perspiration
- Increased Blood Pressure
- Body Odor Alteration: Mephedrone can impart a distinct and unpleasant odour to urine, sweat, and other bodily secretions, often likened to the smell of cat urine.
- Teeth Grinding: Teeth grinding is less intense compared to MDMA.
- Cognitive Euphoria: Mephedrone induces robust emotional euphoria and happiness, likely attributed to serotonin and dopamine release.
- Thought Acceleration
- Increased Music Appreciation
- Ego Inflation
- Empathy, Love, and Sociability Enhancement: Although present, this effect is less pronounced than traditional entactogens like MDMA or 2C-B.
- Time Distortion: Strong sensations of time compression are common, significantly accelerating the perception of time.
- Motivation Enhancement
- Anxiety Suppression
- Compulsive Redosing: Users often experience an overwhelming urge to re-dose.
- Increased Libido: This effect ranks among the most potent within the entactogenic spectrum.
The aftereffects occurring during the comedown phase of a stimulant experience tend to be less favourable than during the peak. This comedown, associated with neurotransmitter depletion, is marked by the following effects:
- Cognitive Fatigue
- Motivation Suppression
- Thought Deceleration
Disclaimer: Information regarding the long-term effects of mephedrone is scarce due to its relatively brief history of use. Furthermore, the precise toxic dosage remains unknown.
In 2010, unconfirmed reports raised concerns about mephedrone’s potential involvement in the deaths of several young individuals in the UK. By July 2010, mephedrone had been linked, albeit unconfirmed, to 52 fatalities in the UK, with only 38 of these cases showing detectable traces of the substance. Among the nine cases fully investigated, two were directly attributed to mephedrone use. The first recorded mephedrone-related fatality was a 46-year-old individual with underlying health issues who was repeatedly injected with the drug. Additionally, Forensic Science International reported two cases in Scotland where mephedrone intoxication was cited as the cause of death.
Despite sharing similarities with known neurotoxins like methamphetamine and other cathinone derivatives, mephedrone does not appear to induce neurotoxic effects in the dopamine system of mice.
Individuals are strongly advised to exercise harm-reduction practices when using this substance.
Tolerance and Addiction Potential:
As with other stimulants, chronic mephedrone use carries a high potential for addiction and psychological dependence. Users who develop addiction may experience cravings and withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation.
Tolerance to many of mephedrone’s effects develops with prolonged and repeated use, necessitating larger doses to achieve the same effects. The tolerance reduction process takes approximately 3 to 7 days to reach half, with 1 to 2 weeks required to return to baseline without further consumption. Importantly, mephedrone exhibits cross-tolerance with all dopaminergic stimulants, diminishing the effects of all stimulants following mephedrone use.
Dangerous Interactions: Warning:
While some psychoactive substances may be safe when used in isolation, combining them with certain other substances can pose serious, even life-threatening risks. The following list outlines known dangerous interactions (though it may not encompass all possible scenarios).
Always conduct independent research (e.g., Google, DuckDuckGo, PubMed) to ensure that combining two or more substances is safe. Some of the interactions listed are sourced from TripSit.
- 25x-NBOMe & 25x-NBOH: These highly stimulating and physically demanding compounds should not be combined with mephedrone due to the risk of excessive stimulation and heart strain, potentially resulting in increased blood pressure, vasoconstriction, panic attacks, thought loops, seizures, and extreme cases of heart failure.
- Alcohol: Combining alcohol with stimulants can be perilous because stimulants mask the depressant effects of alcohol. This can lead to over-intoxication, blackouts, and severe respiratory depression. If combined, limit alcohol consumption to a specific amount per hour.
- DXM: Avoid combining DXM with mephedrone due to its inhibitory effects on serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake. This combination raises the risk of panic attacks, hypertensive crises, or serotonin syndrome when using serotonin releasers (e.g., MDMA, methylone, and mephedrone). Monitor blood pressure carefully and avoid strenuous physical activity.
- MDMA: Combining MDMA with other stimulants can amplify neurotoxic effects, elevate blood pressure, and strain the heart (cardiotoxicity).
- MXE: Some reports suggest combining MXE with mephedrone can significantly increase blood pressure and the risk of mania and psychosis.
- Dissociatives: Both substance classes risk delusions, mania, and psychosis, which may be magnified when used together.
- Stimulants: Combining mephedrone with stimulants like cocaine can dangerously elevate heart rate and blood pressure.
- Tramadol: Tramadol is known to lower the seizure threshold. Combining it with stimulants can further increase this risk.
- MDMA: Combining MDMA with other stimulants may enhance the neurotoxic effects of MDMA.
- Cocaine: This combination may place excessive strain on the heart.
Serotonin Syndrome Risk: Certain combinations can lead to dangerously high serotonin levels, resulting in serotonin syndrome, which necessitates immediate medical attention and can be fatal if left untreated. Combinations with the following substances should be avoided:
- MAOIs: Including substances like banisteriopsis caapi, Syrian rue, phenelzine, selegiline, and moclobemide.
- Serotonin Releasers: MDMA, 4-FA, methamphetamine, methylone, and αMT.
- SSRIs: Including citalopram and sertraline.
- SNRIs: Such as tramadol and venlafaxine.
|Light||15 – 45 mg|
|Common||45 – 80 mg|
|Strong||80 – 125 mg|
|Heavy||125 mg +|
|Total||3 – 6 hours|
|Onset||15 – 45 minutes|
|Come up||15 – 30 minutes|
|Peak||30 – 60 minutes|
|Offset||30 – 90 minutes|
|After effects||2 – 4 hours|
European Council Decision: In December 2010, the European Council took action to subject mephedrone to control measures and criminal penalties across Member States.
Australia: Mephedrone has been placed on Australia’s federal drug watch list, making it illegal for human consumption. It is categorized as a Schedule 9 prohibited substance under the Poisons Standard, signifying its potential for misuse. This substance’s possession, sale, or use is prohibited by law, except when required for authorized medical or scientific research, analytical purposes, or educational and training endeavours with approval from Commonwealth and State or Territory Health Authorities.
Austria: Since August 21, 2010, mephedrone has been illegal to possess, produce, or sell in Austria under the SMG (Suchtmittelgesetz Österreich).
Belgium: On April 29, 2010, Belgium prohibited mephedrone, categorizing it as a regulated drug requiring Ministry of Human Health approval for import, sale, or possession.
Brazil: As of August 2011, Brazil added mephedrone to the list of Scheduled drugs (class F2), rendering it illegal to possess, sell, or manufacture without a license.
China: Effective September 1, 2010, mephedrone is classified as a Category I psychotropic substance in China. Consequently, selling, buying, importing, exporting, or manufacturing is illegal.
Croatia: Mephedrone became a controlled substance in Croatia on January 12, 2010.
Denmark: Denmark prohibited mephedrone, mephedrone, and methcathinone on December 18, 2008. Additionally, as of July 1, 2012, Denmark introduced an analogue law encompassing cathinones like mephedrone.
Estonia: Mephedrone has been a controlled substance in Estonia since November 2009.
Finland: Under the Medicines Act, mephedrone is categorized as a “medicinal product” in Finland, making it illegal to manufacture, import, possess, sell, or transfer without a prescription.
France: In early June 2010, the French Ministry of Health added mephedrone to the list of illicit substances.
Germany: Mephedrone is regulated under Anlage I BtMG (Narcotics Act, Schedule I) in Germany as of January 22, 2010. This makes it illegal to manufacture, possess, import, export, buy, sell, procure, or dispense without a license.
Guernsey: Mephedrone has been classified as a Class B controlled substance in Guernsey since April 16, 2010.
Hungary: Effective January 1, 2011, mephedrone is listed as a controlled substance in Hungary.
Isle of Man: Since February 2010, importing or selling mephedrone on the Isle of Man has been illegal.
Ireland: Mephedrone was regulated under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1977 in Ireland as of May 11, 2010.
Israel: In December 2007, Israel added mephedrone to its controlled substances list, making it illegal to buy, sell, or possess.
Italy: Mephedrone is classified as a Tabella I controlled substance in Italy.
Jersey: Since December 2010, mephedrone has been classified as a Class C controlled substance in Jersey.
Lithuania: Effective June 20, 2010, mephedrone is considered a controlled substance in Lithuania.
Mexico: As of January 7, 2014, mephedrone is categorized as a Schedule I controlled substance in Mexico.
The Netherlands: In March 2010, the Dutch Ministry of Health and the Medicines Authority IGZ classified mephedrone as an unregulated medicine, prohibiting its sale and distribution.
Norway: Norway introduced an Analog Act-type law called the “Derivatbestemmelsen,” which controls mephedrone, Bk-MBDB, Bromo-DragonFLY, 1,4-Butanediol, GBL, and MBDB. This law has been in effect since February 2010.
Poland: On August 25, 2010, Poland added mephedrone to the list of controlled “psychotropic drugs” in the I-P group.
Romania: Mephedrone was added to Romania’s list of controlled substances in February 2010.
Russia: Effective August 2010, mephedrone is classified as List 1 in the Russian Federation, making it illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute.
Slovak Republic: Mephedrone has been controlled in the Slovak Republic since March 1, 2011.
Singapore: As of November 15, 2010, mephedrone is a banned substance in Singapore.
Spain: Mephedrone was classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in Spain on February 10, 2011.
Sweden: In Sweden, mephedrone is considered a health hazard. A ban on mephedrone came into effect on December 15, 2008, rendering its sale illegal. The use of 4-methyl methcathinone is not explicitly prohibited under this regulation.
Switzerland: Mephedrone is listed as a controlled substance under Verzeichnis D in Switzerland.
Turkey: Mephedrone is classified as a drug in Turkey and is illegal to possess, produce, supply, or import.
United Kingdom: Mephedrone is a Class B drug in the United Kingdom due to the cathinone catch-all clause.
United States: Mephedrone is currently classified as a Schedule I drug in the United States. This means it is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, or distribute (sell, trade, or give) without a DEA license.
1. What is Mephedrone?
Mephedrone, also known as “Meow Meow” or “M-Cat,” is a synthetic stimulant drug belonging to the cathinone class. It can produce effects similar to amphetamines and ecstasy.
2. Is Mephedrone legal?
The legal status of Mephedrone varies by country and region. It may be illegal, a controlled substance, or subject to various regulations. It’s essential to check your local laws and regulations.
3. What are the effects of Mephedrone?
Mephedrone can produce stimulant effects, including increased energy, alertness, and euphoria. Users may also experience enhanced sociability, empathy, and heightened sensory perception. However, it can also lead to side effects like anxiety, paranoia, and heart palpitations.
4. How is Mephedrone used?
Mephedrone is typically consumed orally or through insufflation (snorting). It may also be ingested in other forms, such as capsules or crystals.
5. What are the risks and side effects of Mephedrone?
Mephedrone use can be associated with various risks, including addiction, cardiovascular issues, psychiatric disturbances, and potential long-term health effects. Users may also experience a “comedown” period characterized by mood swings, fatigue, and depression.
6. Is Mephedrone addictive?
Mephedrone has the potential for addiction, and regular or heavy use may lead to physical and psychological dependence. It is advisable to use this substance with caution.
7. Can Mephedrone be used safely?
The safety of Mephedrone use is a subject of debate. It’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and harm reduction strategies. Using it in moderation and seeking professional advice is recommended.
8. Is there a safe dosage for Mephedrone?
There is no universally safe dosage for Mephedrone, as individual responses can vary. If you choose to use it, start with a low dose and avoid redosing to minimize risks.
9. What is the best way to stay safe when using Mephedrone?
To stay safe when using Mephedrone, educate yourself about the substance, use it in a controlled environment, stay hydrated, take breaks, and avoid mixing it with other substances. Seek medical attention if you experience severe adverse effects.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Mephedrone use or its consequences, it’s important to seek help from a healthcare professional or support services specializing in substance abuse and addiction treatment.
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