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The Use of Mephedrone (M-cat, Meow) in Middlesbrough (2009)

The Use of Mephedrone (M-cat, Meow) in Middlesbrough (2009)

  1. Synesthesiac
    Dr Russell Newcombe, Lifeline Publications

    Legal highs’ are drugs which are not controlled under the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act nor licensed for legal use. Mephedrone is a semi-synthetic ‘legal high’ manufactured from cathinone, the active ingredient of the African shrub khat, and a natural analogue of the stimulant drug amphetamine (speed/wiz). Mephedrone is a white powder, and its full chemical name is 4-methylmethcathinone (4MMC). It is known to users as meph and m-cat, and is sold by headshops (in cities and on the internet) as plant food under the trade name Meow.

    In December 2009 Lifeline Publications & Research was commissioned to investigate mephedrone use in Middlesbrough, and to produce a publication for local users. This research incorporated a literature review, interviews with drugs workers, and focus groups with 10 users of mephedrone (nine men and one woman, mostly young adults). All participants were regular users of drugs - notably alcohol, cannabis and amphetamine, but also cocaine and ecstasy.