1. chillinwill
    A dangerous new legal high called mephedrone is sweeping its way around the UK club circuit, with thousands using the untested drug to reach new highs.

    Mephedrone, otherwise known as Meow Meow or Bubbles, may have only been in the underground scene for six months, but it has just gone mainstream and is causing a stir in clubs all over the UK.

    Mephedrone, not to be confused with Methadone, is a power that can be stirred into drinks or sniffed. It can sometimes, but very rarely, be found in pill form. Results of a survey recently carried out by magazine Mixmag suggest that Mephedrone is currently the 4th most popular substance on the club circuit. The drug is a stimulant, which sends the user into a euphoric state and raises alertness.

    The drug carries serious health risks and has been linked to several deaths over the past six months. It can become compulsive to use and cause serious nosebleeds and headaches to first time users.

    George, 19, a regular drug user, first took mephedrone last summer when the drug was virtually unheard of. He said: “I was first given the drug for free by a stranger on a night out. Obviously I was aware of the risks that came with taking it, but it was something new to try.

    “I know its dangerous to those with heart conditions and those with a history of mental illness, but that’s the same with any stimulant.”

    Mephedrone is a legal drug, which means that it can easily be found on the Internet, or available to buy in clubs. It’s often sold on the Internet under the name ‘plant food’. Legal highs are drugs which are legal because they have yet to be tested.

    An advisor at the government-funded drug helpline “Talk to Frank” told The Linc: “You can’t ever know what you are taking when consuming a legal high, therefore the effects can be unpredictable. Some legal highs can have similar effects to stimulant or depressant drugs that are illegal and can cause a range of side effects such as paranoia, fits and even a risk of coma or death.”

    George told The Linc: “I think the only way I would choose to take methadrone again would be if there was no quality MDMA available on the market”

    Tara, aged 19, didn’t have the same high that George got from the drug: “It was trippy, I got claustrophobic, there were too many people around and I felt everything was caving in on me.

    “I only tried it after I’d heard about it from friends, and when my dealer offered me some I thought I would try it. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.”

    The government has said it is a “priority” to find out more about the dangers of using a stimulant drug. It’s reported that a team of government health experts and care teams are looking into the dangers and long-term effects of mephedrone.

    By Candi Hindocha
    February 19, 2010
    The Linc

    They at least realized it wasn't Methadone, but still misspelled the name incorrectly in the URL. When will the media learn.


  1. mugabe
    It's really not that hard to research just enough to be able to get the spellings right. It baffles me how stupid some people are, they don't deserve to be reporters. :mad:
  2. Coconut
    More mindless drivel. How many articles on mephedrone can the British and Irish media shite out?

    Methadrone... sigh. I give up.
  3. Terrapinzflyer

    Judging from google alerts I think they originally published as methadrone and quickly enough realized their mistake. (probably a user comment). Do wonder if they went to press with "Methadrone" in the print edition? Anyone have an early copy of the paper?
  4. chillinwill
    Legal high the new drug of choice

    IT is the new party drug of choice in Southampton – and it’s perfectly legal.

    Mephedrone gives users a feeling similar to cocaine or Ecstasy and has been linked to several recent deaths across the country.
    Southampton’s drug experts, police and civic leaders are concerned at how fast abuse of the chemical has spread, but because it’s legal they are powerless to stop it.

    Tracking down local suppliers was as simple as typing “mephedrone” and “Southampton” into Google. The Daily Echo found two dealers on the classifieds website Gumtree offering to deliver mephedrone free of charge.

    The white powder, which is snorted, was even being sold as “plant feeder” on the website of Lucid, a shop in Southampton’s Bargate Shopping Centre.

    Lucid’s online store, headshop.co.uk, was last week selling a 100g bag of mephedrone – also known as “Meow”, “Bubble” or “M-Cat”

    – for £400 or 10g for £60.

    The substance, which according to the advertisement was “strictly forbidden for human consumption” was pulled from the website last week – just hours after this newspaper telephoned the shop.

    When confronted, the store’s owner, Lloyd Phillips, said he’d stopped selling mephedrone because “somebody told me it was a bad idea”.

    He refused to discuss mephedrone or any of the other legal highs he is continuing to sell for “novelty purposes”, such as the legal MDMA nicknamed “Sparkle”.

    In an email to the Echo, he described our investigations as a “witchhunt” and said shops selling cigarettes and alcohol were responsible for more deaths.

    “I sold it (mephedrone) for a week, heard that it could be misused, so withdrew it.

    Sparkle is not mephedrone, nor is any other product that I sell but even if I did sell it, it is legal, every product I sell is legal,” he said.

    “Do I feel bad about selling legal products to adults? No, no more than I would selling cream cakes or pies to a fat person, selling alcohol to an alcoholic, selling cigs to someone with cancer.”

    One local user, who is now receiving counselling, described how mephedrone had destroyed his life in just five months.

    “It’s seriously worrying, mephedrone is everywhere,” the 25-year-old said.

    “There are lads aged 12 or 13 on the stuff, all the way up to 60-year-olds who are doing it.

    “I could honestly say if I walked into my local pub on a Saturday night more than 50 per cent of the people in there would be on it.”

    The city’s frontline drug service, The Bridge, has begun to see mephedrone casualties at its headquarters in College Street.

    Manager Ashley Christopher said the few users they’d helped were probably just “the tip of the iceberg”.

    “We’ve been told it’s a lot like Ecstasy,” he said. “They get a big high and feel euphoric, but there is always a pay-off.”

    The “pay-off ”, according to Colin McAllister from Southampton’s Drug Action Team, includes nose burns and bleeds, paranoia, heart palpitations and insomnia.

    “People are discovering that mephedrone gives a big high, but you crash very quickly.

    Users are having to take more and more to keep the euphoria,” Mr McAllister said.

    “If you look at the label it says ‘not for human consumption’, therefore you probably shouldn’t stick it up your nose and into your body. You don’t know what you are taking.”

    Police in Scotland last month linked mephedrone to the death of a 49-year-old woman in Scotland.

    The substance has already been banned in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Australia and Israel, but not yet the UK.

    The Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs, which informs Government policy on drugs, is investigating the problem and Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said it could be outlawed as early as next month.

    Martin Barnes, chief executive of the leading drug charity DrugScope, said: “People can underestimate the risks attached to using so called ‘legal highs’ and marketing mephedrone as something as innocuous sounding as ‘plant feeder’ clearly doesn’t help.”

    A Hampshire police spokesman said: “Like many other cities across the country,we’re seeing mephedrone being used in Southampton but it’s simply not worth the risk.”

    Councillor Ivan White, Southampton’s Cabinet member for health, added: “We strongly recommend that people should think about the effects of taking an unknown product being sold as plant food.”

    ■ Anybody concerned with their, or anyone else’s, use of mephedrone, or any other drug, should contact The Bridge on 023 8088 1400 or talk to their GP.


    FOR seven years, “John”, a 25-year-old living in Southampton, regularly used cocaine.

    Last September his regular dealer offered him a different type of white powder, called mephedrone.

    It would be the start of a downward spiral that ended with him being checked into a clinic four weeks ago.

    Cocaine is expensive and a load of crap these days,” John told the Daily Echo.

    “Then this new stuff came in, it was half price, gets you just as smashed as what the cocaine would and apparently it’s legal as well.”

    The migraine and nose burn he suffered after his first line was so painful he was put off for a couple of weeks.

    But when he did end up back in the pub he couldn’t resist the temptation to get high again. “It was just too easy and far too cheap,”

    he said.

    The comedowns were unlike anything he had ever experienced on cocaine. “It is just horrible, it’s an unbelievable headache and it really does burn the inside of your nose out.

    “You can’t sleep on that stuff, I would literally lay there and look at the back of my eyelids all night. I would then get up and go to work at 7.30am the next morning.”

    He added: “If you do too much you can take yourself to somewhere you don’t want to be, it can bloody ruin your life. I’ve had to take myself into a corner and crawl into a ball because I’ve been so out of my head on this stuff.”

    The cycle of highs and lows took control of his life for five months. In desperation he turned to his GP for help.

    John was referred to The Bridge and now he wants to warn others not to underestimate the danger of legal highs.

    “They should stop it now before it becomes a real problem. People have got a taste for it and one way or another they’re going to get it. Even if they do make it illegal it’ll still be there.”

    Peter Law
    February 22, 2010
    Daily Echo
  5. Synchronium

    Actually, that was me who commented, shortly after I received the same Google alert. It seems they've removed my comment though and updated the article without thanks. Presumably leaving my comment (and link to SWIM's site with relevant, supporting info) would make them look too stupid.

    At least the respected newspapers leave those kind of comments in.
  6. squiffs
    the vendor 'Lloyd' who is quoted in the second article sent an email out when he had mephedrone in stock saying that his BANK had said they weren't happy with his business selling it, so he put it on sale and got rid of it by a set deadline of the next day.

    i don't understand how his bank could have had any say in the matter, but it was definitely before that article was published that he warned us.
  7. Burgersoft777
    Quite Likely the vendor-swiy needs credit to stay afloat, buy in stock etc.
    If the Bank-manager is unwilling to do business with the vendor-swiy then of unless s-he is in able to manage without that Bankers services then! Banks can close accounts any-time they like.
  8. Synchronium
    If he operates a private limited company (he probably should be, as should anyone selling this sort of thing), he's going to need a business bank account. To get one of those, you don't just fill out a form and take a driving licence along; it requires hours and hours of meetings, discussing not only the complexities of your business and the industry, but also your personal life and all kinds of other shit. If they don't like you or what you're up to, they won't give you an account.

    SWIM's local headshop owner had some interesting meetings with their bank - the cut of one's jib seems to make all the difference when the website you're trying to set up an account for is blocked by the bank's computers. :rolleyes: The constant negative press about mephedrone would make convincing the powers that be all the more difficult, especially if that was your only product.

    It's the same kind of thing as PayPal closing accounts if people use them to sell salvia, or accept donations to try and keep a forum about drugs going...
  9. squiffs
    i suppose, i don't think they should be able to do that though. anyway, i just thought i'd point out that the email in MY inbox was sent on the 11th of feb, so that newspaper is full of crap haha.

    here it is

    ?spam? MEPHEDRONE - 2 1/4 HOURS TO BUY
    Sent: 11 February 2010 18:55

    Hi Everyone,

    You have until 9pm to buy the remaining Mephedrone from our site, our bank is not happy for us to continue to sell it and we have assured them that it will be taken off of the site by midnight but we are going to remove it at 9pm (3 hours before).

    Be quick -
  10. Terrapinzflyer
    while we are getting slightly off topic here re: the banks - it should be pointed out the police often have broad powers to seize both money and real property - and when that money or property is (partially or fully) the banks they get justifiably concerned.

    on a related note see: Banks wary of marijuana-dispensary accounts
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