Mephedrone or 4-Methylmethcathinone, is the latest drug to be spreading through the UK's club and drug culture, it's effects are euphroric and stimulating, however unlike it's phenathylamine cousins it's not illegal to sell or possess in the UK unless it's for human consumption, leading it to be sold as a plant food(which it isn't). Currently little is known about the effects on the body or mind, but many experience reports from other site's suggest some severe side affects including arms and legs turning purple, discolouration of skin and tachycardia to name a few.
The effects of Mephedrone are very short lived, each hit lasting around an hour leading users to keep topping up their dose, many find it incredibly moreish, and can throw all common sense out the window leading to the consumption of dangerous amounts of something we know very little about, even it's LD50 rating (toxicity) is not currently known.
So why's Mephedrone so popular? Well there are a number of social factors effecting this, one is the falling quality of street drugs in the UK, with police finding cocaine as low as %1 purity and the shortage of MDMA pills and powder, with a large percentage being replaced with the more dangerous and far less enjoyable drugs Piperizines. Sick of paying high prices for poor quality drugs users are switching to drugs that they can buy legally, because it is assumed that with legality comes a certain amount of quality assurance (although this most certainly is not always the case), at a decent price. Secondly a lot of people have heard of it, before mephedrone RC's were only used by dedicated psychonaughts. But due to the intense media coverage over the past few months more and more people are hearing about it, and wanting to try for themselves.
Why did mephrone come about in the first place? Well the main aim of chemicals like mephedrone and many other classes, was to make a substance that isn't structurally similar enough to be classed as an illegal drug but that has similar pharmacological action.
Now I'm going to move on to the media coverage of this substance, almost everyday another report comes out in the paper with more hysterical reporting and skewed facts. The media mentions in nearly everyone of these articles that Gabriella Price a fourteen year old schoolgirl took mephedrone and died, this is an accepted fact for the hysterical middle classes, however all the headlines like "Teenager dies from new legal drug Meow Meow" came out before the post mortem and toxicilogy results had come back and what a surprise it turns out not that "Teenager dies from new killer drug" it turned out that mephedrone was not the cause of death at all she had a pre existing medical condition, and this is what killed her not mephedrone. The second case was a teenager in sweeden who mixed it with coke and MDMA, ok that's a lesson in why not to mix research chemicals with street drugs of unkown strength and purity. Thirdly there was the second teenager who the media have turned into their deceased poster child for the banning of legal highs, it appears that this case (although it's still early days) actually involved methadone a synthetic opiate rather than Mephedrone.
We also now have a unique situation where we've got what would be considered a hard drug, compared to say cannabis MDMA or magic mushrooms, that is freely available to the masses and especially teenagers, who we already know aren't the most careful and thoughtful of people, whereas most people will move on to harder drugs slowly after being able get aquainted with drug use and drug culture in general, it can take years for people to become well connected enough to obtain drugs of a decent standard on a regular basis. But now we've got groups of sometimes very young, inexperienced and niave drug users, who are being thrown in at the deep end, thinking it's going to be safe because it's legal drug. Many do not do they're research and do not know what they're letting them selves in for and I've personally seen many people ending up in a bad way, and these are people who'd barely even smoked cannabis beofore hoofing 250mg lines of Mephedrone on a daily basis.
Should mephedrone be banned? No I think that a ban will make things work, a ban will work if it's a little known substance that has little or no demand, however once a substance has gained popularity, the prohibition will only cause the criminal emires to take over the business, and once criminals take over drugs become a lot more dangerous. What I think needs to be done is not to ban the drug but regulate it more heavily, sell it in shops to people 18 years or older with an extremely strict I.D policy. Also have quality regulated to a far higher standard than it currently is, as it is produced as a plant feed not intended for human consumption, it doesn't go through the stringest health and safety checked that products sold for human consumption do. The media and drugs organisations in my opinion should be telling people if they do have to use legal highs they should use Methylone, rather than mephedrone, Methylone being a much more pleasent, from what I understand safer and less addictive alternative to mephedrone.
12/2/2010 by cannabis-sam