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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Fife woman dies after taking ‘bubbles’
    A 49-YEAR-OLD Dunfermline woman has died after taking mephedrone, commonly known as ‘bubbles’, police said yesterday.

    The woman is believed to have taken mephedrone shortly before collapsing on Saturday afternoon and, despite the efforts of medical teams at the town’s Queen Margaret Hospital, died shortly afterwards.

    Last night Fife police warned the public of the dangers of so-called ‘legal highs’—many of them unregulated substances sold under the guise of plant food or chemicals used for industrial purposes.

    Last month an Angus sheriff voiced his concern that the substances could lead to someone’s death.

    Sheriff Norrie Stein said, “From what I am hearing, things are beginning to get very serious as far as bubbles are concerned and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if we were to soon hear of the first death directly related to its use.”

    Little scientific information is available as to the effects of legal highs, and the effects when mixed with alcohol, but police believe there is a real risk of death.

    Chief Superintendent Alistair McKeen, head of specialist services, said, “The inquiry into the woman’s death is still at an early stage and the results of a post-mortem examination, including toxicology, will hopefully clarify the role that any substance taken may have played in her sudden death.

    “Potential users of ‘legal highs’ need to be aware of the dangers associated with these substances.

    “None of these were designed for human consumption and their effects are largely unknown.”

    He added, “What we do know is that there is a trend for people to experiment with a range of substances in search of ‘legal highs’ as a means of avoiding prosecution.

    “Tragically, the avoidance of prosecution is being prioritised over the risks to health, and a number of deaths have resulted across the country.”

    In a separate incident on Monday, ambulance crews were called to an address in Methil after a number of people became ill after allegedly taking a substance known locally as ‘white magic.’

    While six people had consumed combinations of alcohol and other substances, one woman was taken to hospital as a precaution.

    These incidents come shortly after a warning from a drug advice group that the use of legal highs such as bubbles was becoming more and more popular.

    Joy Patrick, of the Drug and Alcohol Project Limited, said this month that such substances could be on the increase across Fife, after extraordinary scenes at Arbroath Sheriff Court where a 21-year-old man claimed that he had been driven to the brink of suicide after taking mephedrone for just a matter of weeks.

    Bubbles—also known as methyl methcathinone—first hit headlines in September after Dundee police seized a batch. It is thought the substance started being abused in the city in early 2009, writes Jennifer Cosgrove.

    It is normally swallowed or snorted and is thought to be a cocktail of MDMA, ecstasy and cocaine, but has not been extensively tested by scientists.

    It is popular among students and teenagers and thought to be widely available in pubs and clubs.

    In October research revealed that although bubbles do not contain any illegal substances, users could suffer serious side effects.

    These can include an increased heart rate, dizziness, agitation, skin discolouration, vomiting, bleeding gums, dehydration and increased blood pressure.

    Bubbles is mostly mephedrone, a research chemical sold usually as plant food and not for human consumption.

    There have been numerous reports of non-fatal overdoses and hospitalisation in Dundee in connection with the substance.

    In November a man who appeared in court in the city claimed he could not recall trying to stab two police officers after taking bubbles.

    Police in Dundee believe the substance is being manufactured in Dundee for distribution throughout Tayside and Fife.

    People who use the drug have been warned that batches may contain other harmful and illegal substances.

    By Jonathan Watson
    January 27 2010



  1. Alfa
    That's 3 in a week now, while there where only a few UK accidents in the years before. Something is up.
  2. LadyGrinningSoul
    That is awful. However, the woman was drinking with it and the man who was driven to become suicidal was doing it for weeks. Not saying its a safe drug, but when people do things like this with almost any drug its gonna lead to something bad. It's gonna be illegal soon, lets face it.
  3. SamanthaRabbit
    Could it potentially have to do with the batch?
  4. moda00
    "Bubbles—also known as methyl methcathinone—first hit headlines in September after Dundee police seized a batch. It is thought the substance started being abused in the city in early 2009, writes Jennifer Cosgrove.
    It is normally swallowed or snorted and is thought to be a cocktail of MDMA, ecstasy and cocaine, but has not been extensively tested by scientists."

    What!? She acknowledges it's common chemical name, and then goes on to say that it is supposedly a mixture of mdma "and ecstasy" lol and coke. I hope these writers don't get paid much for spewing out this thoughtless shit.

    Then it goes on to say:
    "In October, research revealed it does not contain any illegal substances, but..." Ok, so now you are contradicting what you said about there being no research to prove or disprove whether it consists of mdma/ecstasy and cocaine... More contradictions...

    And then:
    "Bubbles is mostly mephedrone, a research chemical sold usually as plant food and not for human consumption."

    Ok, so now it is not a mixture of illegal recreational drugs, but mephedrone, a research chem, sold as a plant food. How many times can one contradict themselves in the same article!? Ridiculousness.
    At least this sentence is true, about how it is marketed/sold and what "bubbles" contains, but no one would have any idea after reading these conflicting sentences.

    I hate how they demonize the drug, and then forever tarnish that person's memory by using them as a tool to fuel the drug scare- especially when the drug didn't cause the death- note the article says, "I wouldn't be surprised if we saw our first exclusively mephedrone-caused death in the UK soon" or something like that- acknowledging that all prior hype has been due to totally unrelated causes or drug combos. It's just rude to these people to speculate before knowing, and only focusing on them as a drug-user/stereotype and not the person they were and the people they left behind.

    I do think there may be some serious risks with mephedrone, but there are some serious risks with methamphetamine or cocaine too, so I don't know that it is any more dangerous (or less dangerous) than other stimulant type drugs or not, no one does.. I do find some reports alarming and wouldn't choose to ingest it myself even if I did consume substances and it were legal in my area (I have no idea but I doubt it) but still, this is biased reporting!

    I do wonder what is going on in the UK as you say Alfa.. reminiscent of a Haupt switch up/mislabel, or could be a mixed or contaminated batch- or else the whole thing is just blowing up with more and more people trying it and being less careful, thus increased deaths- but it does seem like something is different lately for that to happen so quickly, so I doubt that it... Scary stuff, and very sad. But education/research will be pushed aside in favor of immediate banning, and while maybe it would become less popular (so many young people using it is alarming, but then again these same young people are often also using similar illegal drugs, so I think it is a societal problem rather than the drugs themselves) it won't address underlying issues, and those who want to get high will always find a substance to use (and abuse if that be the case) and people who think that simple banning each substance as it arises will solve the underlying issues of modern society and the human urge to alter consciousness are rather delusional in my book.

    Condolences to those touched by this and other deaths :(
  5. enquirewithin
    Some misinformation that! It is odd that there seem to be so many disasters. It obviously doesn't mix well with alchohol, if 'bubbles' is in fact 'mepehdrone.'
  6. chillinwill
    Doctors call for ban on ‘legal high’ after woman dies

    Doctors are calling for a ban on the latest “legal high” craze to sweep Scotland – the plant food mephedrone.

    Police are warning the public about the risk of the drug – whose street names include “meow-meow”, “bubbles” and “drone” – after a 49-year-old woman from Dunfermline died last week after taking it.

    It costs £35 to £40 a gramme and is available on the internet, often advertised as plant food.

    Growing numbers of young people are receiving medical treatment after being harmed by the drug, which has similar effects to Ecstasy and cocaine.

    A group of Scottish psychiatrists has called for a ban on the drug which can cause hallucinations and psychosis.

    Psychiatrists Dr Neeraj Bajaj, Dr Donna Mullen and Dr Scott Wylie, from Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow, made the call after doing research into its effects.

    They reported the case of a man who bought mephedrone, also known by the chemical name 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC), online for 18 months and binged on it twice a week. He experienced hallucinations, as well as agitation, excitability and signs of mania before becoming dependent on the drug, and ended up in a psychiatric hospital.

    The psychiatrists said: “Hundreds of websites, based in the UK and abroad, ... are selling these so-called ‘legal highs’. It is a poorly regulated industry with consumers having little knowledge of ingredients or their effects.

    4-MMC has the potential to cause similar physical and psychiatric complications to illegal drugs. We therefore think there is an urgent need for government legislation to reclassify 4-MMC as an illegal substance.”

    The drug, a powder or pills, is banned in Germany, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Israel and Sweden and restricted in the US, but is legal here.

    There is no sign, however, that the Government is going to fast-track a ban under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

    The Home Office last night said that, while mephedrone was being examined by the UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs as a “priority”, there was no timescale for any recommendation. The council will report some time this year. However, it is feared that by the time a decision is taken on a ban, other substances that are chemically similar but still legal will emerge.

    There has long been concern by toxicology experts that the UK has been lagging behind other European countries in tackling “legal highs” and that by the time action is taken revellers will have moved on to the next craze.

    The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced last May plans to classify BZP – a drug similar to Ecstasy which is used as a worming treatment for cattle. However, experts said that by the time of that announcement users had already switched to mephedrone.

    David Liddle, director of the Scottish Drugs Forum advisory body, said: “With all these legal highs we are continually playing catch up but when you compare the likely level of harm from mephedrone to substances which are currently illegal, then the answer has to be that it should be classified.”

    Dr Ken Checinski, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said classifying mephedrone would help to restrict the supply of the drug.

    “Classification would give a message to users. Unfortunately extreme tragic events such as the one in Dunfermline place these issues into focus.”

    Popular on the clubbing scene, mephedrone is believed to be partly responsible for a number of deaths in Europe. In Dundee, five users – the youngest understood to be only 15 – suffered non-fatal overdoses during a weekend in November. One drugs worker said Dundee was “awash” with mephedrone, which first appeared there early in 2009.

    Inverness councillor John Finnie is concerned about the rapid uptake of the drug in the city. He is urging the UK and Scottish governments to work with the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) to tackle the problem.

    Chief Superintendent Alistair McKeen, head of Specialist Services for Fife police, warned attempts to avoid prosecution through legal highs were being “prioritised over the risks to health”.

    “Potential users of legal highs need to be aware of the dangers associated with these substances, a number of which have industrial uses as solvents or even plant foods.

    “Our advice to anyone contemplating using legal highs of any kind is not to rely on the experience of other users or those selling these substances, and to put your own health first.

    “The only sure way of being safe is not to experiment with these chemicals.”
    ‘If it was illegal, I’d still take it. It’s cheap’

    By Grant Collinson

    Craig, 23, is a graduate who lives in Glasgow and has been taking Mephedrone off and on since September last year.

    He explains how easy it is to get the drug and what it is like to take it: “Order some online; get it delivered for Friday. Say you start at seven o’clock, take a few lines in the house with your mates with the music on.

    “If you’re planning a bender without going to bed, you’ll maybe have five grammes and steadily go through it as the night goes on. The only thing is, it’s a moreish drug and the more you take the higher your tolerance gets.

    “If you take too much too fast, your head is buzzing and speaking becomes difficult but, if you ration it out, it has a lot fewer physical and psychological effects, in the short term anyway, than a lot of other drugs.

    “I’ve taken mephedrone until 10 in the morning before, had three hours’ sleep and gone to work at two in the afternoon and felt absolutely fine, no come-down, just tired.”

    Use of the drug became popular among his friends around the end of last summer. He says: “You heard people talking about it. I’d heard about it by word of mouth but had not seen it before. Then we found a place you can order it online.”.

    Initially taken as an inferior alternative to other drugs such as Ecstasy, it turned out to be very similar. “I was sceptical at first but it was quite a heady buzz. It’s comparable to the first time you come up off Ecstasy – it’s that overwhelming,” he says.

    For the graduate, the legality of the chemical, sold as plant fertilser over the internet, is not in itself a concern but makes it widely available and cheap.

    “I don’t think it’s even an issue about it being legal. If it wasn’t, you’d still probably want to take it. It’s just the fact it’s that cheap,” he says. “If it was to be the same price as other drugs, there’s no danger you’d pay the same amount for a gramme as you would for a gramme of Ecstasy.”

    The cost of Ecstasy is typically £40 for one gramme, compared with £6 for one gramme of Mephedrone, a price that reflects the strength, as well as the availability, of the two highs.

    Martin Williams
    January 31, 2010
    Herald Scotland
  7. enquirewithin
    That seems like a lot! :(
  8. Abrad
    Doesn't sound healthy...
  9. snapper
    Well SWIM finds few if any redeeming qualities in mephedrone. It is pretty predictable that an RC en par with cocaine for abuse potential and binging would end up creating this much publicity and become disseminated to the general population this quickly. SWIM hopes the imminent crackdown is on mephedrone only. SWIM would hate to see truly beneficial substances like methylone, peas and tryptamines get dragged into the wake of mephedrone's sinking ship. However, mephedrone can disappear forever as far as SWIM is concerned.
    Damn bubbleheads !
  10. enquirewithin
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