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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Clubbers are 'turning to new legal high mephedrone'
    The powerful legal high mephedrone is becoming much more widely used on the British club scene.

    One in three readers of dance magazine Mixmag surveyed for an academic study have used the powder in the last month.

    The results make mephedrone the fourth most popular substance in the poll.

    "Mephedrone has gone from nowhere to the mainstream in under two years," said Dr Adam Winstock from the National Centre for Addiction Studies, who led the research.

    "For a drug that's been around for a relatively short amount of time, mephedrone has certainly made a big impact on the dance drug scene."

    The Home Office has said it is now a "priority" to find out more about the dangers of mephedrone use.

    Its team of scientific advisors had been expected to produce a report in early 2010 that could recommend banning the substance.

    But Newsbeat understands that little progress has been made since a political row last November led to the sacking of the committee's chairman Professor David Nutt.

    UK's 'favourite new drug'
    Mephedrone is usually snorted although it can also be taken in pill form, mixed with a drink or, in rare cases, injected.

    It is sold online through dozens of dedicated websites as a "plant food" to get round the Medicines Act, although it has no known use as a fertilizer.

    "The fact it is legally obtainable is absolutely no guarantee [of safety]," said Dr Winstock. "At the moment we just don't have the research to know what it does to people in the short term and long term."

    Most users describe the effects of mephedrone as a cross between cocaine and ecstasy.

    "I've taken it a couple of times in clubs," said 25-year-old Tina from South Wales. "We always get it from the same place and the experience is consistent. It is very similar to ecstasy."

    "I have heard of people with horror stories but anyone who takes drugs accepts there can be negative side effects."

    51% of mephedrone users in the Mixmag study said they suffered from headaches; 43% from heart palpitations; 27% from nausea; and a further 15% from cold or blue fingers.

    "The first thing I noticed was that I couldn't urinate at all," said Danny, 24, from Colchester. "My heart was beating really fast and I was sweating badly.

    "It's very moreish and you constantly want to re-dose. I ended up buying five grams and went on a two-day bender on it.

    "It's a worry because it's probably putting a lot of stress on my heart and other organs. You can definitely develop a habit from doing it."

    Other anecdotal reports suggest heavy use can lead to paranoia, hallucinations and serious panic attacks.

    Almost nothing is known about the long-term effects of taking the drug.

    The government points to the recent banning of the drug GBL as evidence it is committed to cracking down on legal highs if they pose a "significant threat to health".

    "Making substances illegal is only part of the solution," said a spokesperson for the Home Office. "It is important to understand that just because a substance is legal, it doesn't mean it's safe to consume.

    "Last year we launched an information campaign targeted at clubbers to raise awareness of the dangers of legal highs, including mephedrone, when people try to buy them online."

    Continue reading the main story
    Also known as meph, 4-MMC, MCAT, Drone, Meow and Bubbles
    Often sold online as plant food marked "not for human consumption"
    Normally snorted, though also found in pills and capsules
    Reported side effects include headaches, palpitations, nausea, cold or blue fingers
    Long term effect of taking drug unknown
    41.7% of clubbers in Mixmag survey had tried the drug
    33.6% had taken it in the last month

    By Jim Reed
    Newsbeat reporter
    Wednesday, 13 January 2010


  1. 10outof10
    Here's the full article from mixmag:

    [h2]Mephedrone: Meet The UK's Favourite New Drug[/h2]
    The big drug story of 2009 was the unstoppable rise of mephedrone, the ‘ecstasy alternative’ powder which has risen from nowhere to become the sixth most popular drug in the survey for recent use. 41.7% of you have ever tried it, and 33.6% of you have done it in the last month. Easily available over the internet, sold as ‘plant food - not for human consumption’ over the internet, most users describe mephedrone’s effects as a cross between ecstasy and cocaine.
    Name: Methylmethcathinone
    Appearance: A fine white powder
    Street/Brand Name: Mephedrone, 4-MMC, Charge
    Chemical formula: C11H15NO
    Price: £15-£30 per gram
    Similar to: Cocaine (Chemical formula: C17H21NO4)
    Reported effects: Initial rush followed by increased energy levels, euphoria, desire to be social, alertness, restlessness, detachment, blurred/twitchy vision with pupil dilation, jaw-grinding, fishy-smelling perspiration, increases in heart rate and sex drive.
    A spokesman for the Government’s Drug Strategy Unit told Mixmag that they consider Mephedrone the lesser of two evils compared to cocaine (“...but the Government considers that neither should be used”). Mephedrone is made entirely from non organic pharmaceutical supplies and is chemically similar to the alkaloid found in Khat, a shrub chewed as a stimulant in countries across Africa. The drug has a distinctive fishy chemical smell and is so new that government advisor Les Iversen says there is “no data on toxicity that I could find,” meaning Meph users have no guidance on correct dosage or safety
    Chris Hudson from Talk to FRANK said: “... (Mephedrone) can be addictive, with users planning to take only a small amount and then finding themselves compelled to take larger and larger doses. There have been some unsubstantiated reports that it can cause sudden death as result of its impact on the heart.”
    Mickey, a veteran clubber from Leeds says, “You can cut it into lines to snort it, bomb it, mix it with water or cap it. They say meph is like coke, but I reckon it’s more like a mixture of coke and weak speed; it’s very moreish, you’re always trying to re-enact that first line buzz. The comedown is clean and rapid. Meph is great because it’s legal, pure, and unlike coke it doesn’t have a human misery cost.” Most users have commented on the substance’s ‘moreishness’, how a few lines can lead to an all-night session and corresponding racing heartbeat and headaches.
    Most users (44%) did mephedrone not more than once every three months, but 14.5% were on it at least weekly. The most common amount used at a time was between ½ and 1 gram. 70% of users snorted it, 30% took it orally.
    60% of you have experienced an increased sex drive on mephedrone.
    There’s been little or no research done on mephedrone. We asked users if they’d experienced any side effects after using it
    67% had experienced excessive sweating
    51% headaches
    27% nausea
    43% palpitations
    15% cold or blue fingers
    Who’s your invisible friend?
    Reports are coming in from around the country of Mephedrone’s dark side - attacks of paranoia, hallucinations and disturbing experiences. As LCD Soundsystem have it: ‘If you do it again, I’m gonna freak out...’
    Mark, 25, Manchester: “My girlfriend had to go and stay with her sister for the night. She was so scared of the state I was in, she couldn’t be around me, I was freaking right out, couldn’t focus on anything, was getting tracers from everything that moved and felt ill. Something wasn’t right.”
    The mephedrone that Mark had been snorting all day was that something. “Me, my girlfriend and some mates had been at a club in Manchester partying, I’d done a pill and some ket and felt fine, good actually” says Mark. “We left about 5am and my mate said he had some mephedrone back at his and to go back for a crack-on. My girlfriend went home but I went and we were snorting for hours. It was ok at first, then about lunchtime I started feeling agitated, paranoid and a little bit sick.”
    When he got home in a taxi things got worse. “My girlfriend had just got up as I arrived home but I couldn’t face her and went straight into our bedroom. She came in and knew straight away something was up. I told her what we’d been doing, and that I was feeling really sketchy. She was obviously concerned and trying to help, but I ended up snapping and shouting at her,” he says. “She left and I just sat there for the rest of the day and night; tripping, hallucinating, my mind racing. My breathing also didn’t feel right. Eventually, the following morning, I got a few hours sleep and started to feel a bit better.”
    Simon, 33, London: “My mate, Paul, came down for the weekend and brought a massive bag of it, about 15 grams. We ended up snorting it all weekend at my flat then on the Sunday we went to this daytime party but suddenly Paul starting to freak out. He was getting paranoid, saying he didn’t feel well,” explains Simon. “In the end he didn’t sleep for days, was pacing around my house, and then he even got it into his head that he was spiked. Several people have tried to explain to him it was the Mephedrone, but he’s not happy and adamant he was spiked.“
    Sleep deprivation may be an important factor - experts say that if you’ve been up for more than three days you may start to experience paranoia and delusions, and the more-ish nature of mephedrone combined with its stimulant qualities makes this more than likely. However, some users have reported side effects even without a marathon session.
    Debbie, 28, Nottingham: “I was out clubbing with my boyfriend and some friends at Stealth. We had been snorting mephedrone all night before they went out. We just stupidly kept doing more and more, and I didn’t know my boundaries as I’d only done it once before,” she says. “When we got to the club I just completely lost it, I thought people were going to beat up my boyfriend - but it was all in my head. He took me home and I felt really sickly, weak and worried, I was also struggling to breathe at times. It was really freaky.”
    Dr. Paolo Deluca is a psychologist who’s been researching drug addiction for the past 10 years. Recently Mephedrone has popped up on his team’s radar. “There is little known about this new phenomenon and so we are trying to understand it.” Says Dr Deluca, “It’s a difficult one. Hopefully this way we don’t have to wait for somebody to die on it.”
    “There’s obviously a dosage link, as people keep topping up and doing more and then we see the bad side effects,” Dr. Deluca says. “I’d say don’t do it at all, but if you have to the good advice would be to be aware of the consequences and regulate your dose.”

    Source: http://www.mixmag.net/mephedrone
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