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  1. chillinwill
    AN 18-year-old Burnley girl has spoken out against a potentially-harmful legal party drug being used by teenagers across town.

    The youngster was lured in by mephedrone, sold openly online as plant feeder, which many teens are using as a cheap substitute for ecstasy and cocaine.

    But after a three-day drug binge nightmare which left her a wreck she issued a stark warning to others.

    Little medical research exists about the harmful effects of the yellowish-white powder, which is sold with the message "not for human consumption", but it is believed to be linked to a number of deaths.

    The fact it costs little over £10 a gram, is as easy to order as a pizza and is legal to buy, means mephedrone has flooded the streets.

    The powder, which has the street names "bubble", "Michael", "drone" and "m-cat", is sold openly on websites and its popularity among partygoers has skyrocketed, becoming the fourth most popular substance in Britain according to a recent survey.

    Youngsters in Burnley, Pendle and the Ribble Valley can have the drug delivered straight to their homes.

    Although it is legal to use, it is an offence to sell or supply it and the Government has made it a "priority" to research its effects.

    It has been banned in Sweden where a teenage girl died after using it, as well as Denmark, Finland and Israel and Germany is to make it a controlled substance from Friday.

    Little is known about the long-term effects of the drug, but a report from charity Drugscope raised concerns. A spokesman said: "Like other stimulant drugs, it can have an impact on the heart and some users report heart palpitations, or an irregular or racing heartbeat, which may last for some time after taking the drugs.

    "Users can experience blurred vision, hot flushes and muscle tension particularly in the jaw and face, and some people report their fingers and other extremities have taken on a blueish pallor after using mephedrone. Nausea and vomiting has been reported.

    "A particularly concerning feature about mephedrone use is that once users have started using the drugs in a particular session, it is very hard to stop, with compulsive use leading to unpleasant side effects including insomnia, involuntary muscle clenching and hallucinations and in some cases regular or heavy use may develop into psychological dependency."

    One 18-year-old Burnley user spoke candidly about the drug and its terrifying effect. "We went through 20g between four of us in three days," she said. "We kept going without sleeping or eating and by the third day I was just sat with my head between my legs. I've never felt so bad in my life.

    "We started off on it on Boxing Day and were just hitting it and hitting it and hitting it and the next thing I knew it was three days later.

    "I thought I was messing up off it, it was scary. I felt sick, I was drained, I was shaking violently and was so tired but I still couldn't sleep. It is no wonder people overdose on it."

    She had to take several weeks off work to get over her nightmare and has vowed to avoid the drug. "Afterwards you feel disgusting. I had been taking it for a while but after that I never wanted to touch it again, It's scary.

    "One of my friends took it and her vision totally went. She couldn't even see her phone. It was terrifying."

    She told how two more friends had a violent reaction to mephedrone and had to go to hospital after the drug made them vomit uncontrollably.

    Chris Lee, Harm Reduction lead for Lancashire Drug and Alcohol Action Team, said: "As with any drugs we are always concerned about the consumption. Mephedrone seems to have emerged in Lancashire over the last six months and therefore little is known about the risks or long term effects.

    January 19, 2010
    Burnley Express


  1. chillinwill
    Drug user warns of the dangers of mephedrone

    A DRUG user who ended up on suicide watch in a psychiatric hospital after bingeing on new “legal high” drug mephedrone last night called for the substance to be banned.

    The 28-year-old, from Teesdale, County Durham, spoke out to warn other users about the dangers of mephedrone, also known as drone, bubble or meow. The man, who wants to remain anonymous, believes mephedrone is even more addictive than cocaine, which he has also taken.

    It can cause blackouts, severe hallucinations and mental health problems.

    He spent a week at West Park psychiatric hospital, in Darlington, after taking the substance, when his behaviour led to him being picked up by the police.

    With prices in the North- East falling from £25 a gram down to £15 or even £10 a gram, he said mephedrone should be outlawed as soon as possible before there are more tragedies.

    Last November, five people in Teesdale were hospitalised after taking the drug.

    The 28-year-old said: “It made me feel paranoid, anxious and suicidal. If you take enough, it will drive you mad.”

    Government experts are studying mephedrone to see if it should be added to the list of banned drugs.

    Durham Police have reports of mephedrone being mixed with illegal drugs, including amphetamine and cocaine.

    Officers have said the drug is being used in Teesdale, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe and Darlington.

    The 28-year-old, who is now undergoing rehabilitation, believes he was probably one of the first people in the UK to order mephedrone over the internet in August 2008.

    It cost £100, arrived by post and consisted of white powder in capsules. He rapidly became addicted.

    “I was sniffing loads of the stuff. I tried to cut back, but I wanted it so much. If I could not get it, I would get really, really anxious.”

    PC Dave Williamson, who is based at Barnard Castle police station, warned that anyone found in possession of a suspected controlled drug could be arrested, searched and detained in a police cell until it could be established whether the sample contained illegal drugs.

    But he admitted that if the sample turns out to be mephedrone, the police have no powers to prosecute.

    Barry Nelson
    January 19, 2010
    The Northern Echo
  2. Abrad
    Not even close to the first. It was already available for almost a year by then.
  3. Seaquake
    No shit you are going to feel like death if you go three days without food or sleep.
  4. Combination
    Yea, I can't believe how ignorant people can be. Ofcourse you can't say Mephedrone is harmless, but drinking coffee for three days straight without sleeping or eating is gonna leave you in the same state.
  5. Terrapinzflyer
    Thats a good point to make, but the turtles aardvark would say he doesn't know of many people that would be induced to do such a thing by coffee, but seems there is no shortage induced to do it by 4-mmc / mephedrone, as well as other strong stimulants (cocaine, (meth)amphetamines, mdpv etc)
  6. chillinwill
    Drone needs a wide berth

    Even hardened drug users have found a new “legal high” hard to handle. Health Editor Barry Nelson listened to warnings about a synthetic narcotic which is becoming more widely available across the region.
    PAUL from Teesdale ended up on suicide watch at his local psychiatric hospital after bingeing on a perfectly legal drug, mephedrone.

    The former cocaine user, 28, believes the drug, known on the street as drone, bubble or meow, is even more addictive than his former, illegal drug of choice.

    In fact, Paul (not his real name) says drone creates an intense craving which can only be satisfied by another, bigger fix and recommends that casual drug users should give it a wide berth.

    With prices in the North-East falling from £25 a gram down to £15 or even £10 in recent months, Paul believes mephedrone should be banned as soon as possible before there are more tragedies in the UK.

    But despite increasing evidence that mephedrone constitutes a serious threat, there is still no sign that the Government is going to fast-track a banning order. The process of ruling whether synthetically produced new drugs should be controlled and made illegal is relatively slow.

    Mephedrone, also known as 4-MMC, is in a queue of new drugs produced in foreign laboratories to feed the apparently limitless demand in the UK, which are waiting to be assessed by experts.

    Bizarrely, rural Teesdale became the focus of media attention a few months ago after five people were taken to hospital suffering from the effects of taking mephedrone.

    In one case a man, not Paul, took 36 hours to come down from his drug-induced high and then suffered serious paranoia.

    There were also reports of a police officer being assaulted by someone high on the drug.

    Durham Police are warning of reports of m e p h e d r o n e being mixed with illegal drugs such as amphetamine and cocaine.

    “From the start I thought it was good stuff but it turned out to be really sinister,”

    says Paul, who spent a week in West Park psychiatric hospital, in Darlington, after his behaviour resulted in him being picked up by the police.

    MEPHEDRONE has been engineered by chemists to mimic the effects of illegal drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamine, but because it is slightly different chemically, it is not illegal to buy.

    Normally swallowed or snorted, there are some reports that some users are injecting it.

    Users have reported symptoms including nose bleeds, paranoia, palpitations, memory problems and difficulty in sleeping. In some cases, users have reacted so strongly that they have needed to be resuscitated.

    At the weekend, The Observer newspaper reported that growing numbers of young people are needing emergency medical treatment around the country after taking mephedrone.

    York District Hospital has seen a rise in admissions due to mephedrone use, while there are also reports of young people needing emergency hospital treatment in West Yorkshire and Dundee.

    Paul believes he was probably one of the first drug users in the UK to order mephedrone over the internet in August 2008. It cost £100 from a website and consisted of yellow powder in capsules.

    He said: “The first lot I got used to stink. It was yellow and really stung your nose.”

    But it was when he bought another batch of the drug, sold as plant food or bubble bath, in March last year that he began to suffer serious problems.

    “This was pure stuff. It was white and didn’t smell, it was crystal and more powerful.”

    He became rapidly addicted, taking more and more in an effort to keep the intense high going.

    “When you take it you want more straight away. You are clamouring for it. It is as if you have lost all your self-control and self-respect.

    I have felt this way before. It was just like the craving you get for cocaine,” says Paul.

    Paul says he has seen people going through bins looking for something to eat because they have spent all their money on drone, adding: “It turns women completely. They are quite vulnerable to it. Another contact of mine started behaving very erratically and attracted the attention of the police. He was running through the fields, making animal noises.

    “Everyone is using it, even some people you wouldn’t dream of ever taking drugs.”

    PC Dave Williamson, based at Barnard Castle police station, warns casual drug users not to be lulled into a false sense of security because mephedrone is seen as a legal high. Anyone found with what looks like a controlled drug could end up in a police cell while the unidentified substance is tested.

    There is also the question of whether the legal high you have bought is actually quite as legal as you thought.

    “If you buy mephedrone there’s nothing to say it hasn’t got illegal drugs mixed in,” says PC Williamson. “We are finding that it is now getting cut with amphetamine and cocaine.

    “What I am saying is that when people are buying what they believe is mephedrone it could contain other types of controlled drugs.”

    Paul agrees. During treatment for his problem drug use, he failed a routine test designed to detect traces of cocaine and amphetamine, despite consuming what he thought was pure mephedrone.

    “There are even greedy people out there who will mix it with paracetamol. You just don’t know what you are getting,” he says.

    Paul fears that unless mephedrone is made illegal, lives in the North-East will be lost.

    But while drug dealers are making a reported profit of £7,500 on a one kilogram consignment from China costing £2,500, the struggle to contain mephedrone could be protracted.

    Barry Nelson
    January 19, 2010
    The Northern Echo
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