Mephedrone, 4-methylmethcathinone (4-MMC) or Meow meow, among many other names, is a psychoactive drug and a powerful stimulant that temporarily improves mental function, physical function, or both. It is a synthetic stimulant.
It is known to produce a mixture of effects similar to those of other drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy or MDMA, in addition to having entactogenic effects (with an increase in empathy and feelings of affiliation and closeness towards others).
Mephedrone is part of a group of medications closely related to amphetamines, such as methamphetamine (speed) and ecstasy. There are not many studies on mephedrone and its long-term effects, as it is a fairly new drug, but since it is similar to methamphetamine and ecstasy, the long-term effects can be very similar..
Mephedrone is considered a recreational drug. This means that people use it from time to time for fun, and there is no medical justification for its psychoactive effects..
It is chemically similar to compounds that can be synthesized from cathinone, a substance found in the East African khat plant (cathulla edullis)..
It comes in the form of tablets or powder, which users can swallow, snort, inject or insert rectally, producing effects that are similar to those of MDMA, amphetamines and cocaine.
Mephedrone was first synthesized in 1929 and given the name toluyl-alpha-monomethylaminoethylketone, but it was not widely known until 2003, when it was "rediscovered." In 2007, its sale over the Internet was detected for the first time, in 2008 security agencies were already aware of the compound, and by 2010 it had already become popular in most of Europe, becoming particularly well-known in the United Kingdom..
Other popular names for mephedrone are MCAT, bubbles, drone, meow-meow, white magic, and M-smack.
The psychological effects of this substance are progressively intensified in proportion to the dose. But the main effect is described by many as one of extreme mental stimulation and powerful euphoria. It has a large number of cognitive effects, the most prominent of which are:
Mephedrone is a recreational drug that carries a number of health risks.
Some studies show that long-term use of mephedrone can cause paranoia, depression, hallucinations, and severe panic attacks, as well as adverse effects on the heart, arteries, and kidneys..
Excessive stimulation of the central nervous system can also lead to headaches, insomnia, and a rapid heartbeat..
People who inhale the drug may have nosebleeds and damage to the tissues and structures within the nose. The medicine can cause teeth grinding, nausea, vomiting, and a suppressed appetite..
It has also been linked to impotence.
Several deaths have been linked to drug use.
More and more people are taking mephedrone by injecting it. This implies a risk of infection, for example, with hepatitis C or HIV, as well as damage to the veins, such as abscesses, blood clots and even gangrene..
Unlike many other recreational drugs, such as amphetamines and ecstasy, mephedrone was not developed as a drug in the first place, but in clandestine laboratories. For this reason it has not been previously tested in humans and it is not known what the medium or long-term effects might be, in addition to many of the short-term effects. Most countries have already banned or restricted its use since 2014.