Mephedrone is also known as: Meow meow, MCAT, m-cat, meph, miaew, bubbles, white magic and plant feeder.
It’s a stimulant drug, chemically similar to amphetamines and derived from cathinone, also found in the drug khat.
Mephedrone is a white, cream or yellow coloured powder which can be snorted or swallowed in ‘bombs’ (wraps of paper). It sometimes comes as a capsule or pill.
For about an hour after taking mephedrone you may feel euphoric, alert, empathic to those around you, confident and talkative. Some people describe it as being like a mixture of ecstasy and cocaine.
Because the effects wear off quite quickly, it’s easy to become dependent on mephedrone and to keep using more once the effects wear off. Some people find it hard to stop once they’ve started a session on the drug.
If you snort it, you can get soreness in your nose and nosebleeds. Mephedrone also has an effect on the heart, with some users reporting palpitations and an irregular heartbeat. It can also cause fits because of the way it stimulates the nervous system.
There were concerns about the safety of the drug which led to it being classified as a Class B drug in 2010. Before this it was legally sold as plant food or bath salts.
Although there hasn’t been much research into mephedrone, medics think it is more dangerous to mix it with alcohol as this seems to increase the chances of it causing breathing problems.
The effects of mephedrone wear off after about an hour and it’s easy to get dependent on it and get into a situation where you take more and more to keep the buzz going.
Less is known about mephedrone than most other drugs as it is relatively new. It is clear that it stimulates the heart, causing a rapid heartbeat. Some people have also experienced their fingers being cold or turning blue.
People have also reported it causing similar side effects as amphetamines, such as teeth grinding, anxiety, paranoia, short-term memory loss and changes in body temperature.
There hasn’t been much research into mephedrone so it is hard to know the effect it has on other drugs such as HIV meds. It is best to be cautious and if you are using it talk to your doctor about how it might affect your other pills.
Mephedrone was previously a ‘legal high’ sold as plant food or bath salts but because of concerns about its safety it was classified as a Class B drug in 2010.
Possession can mean up to five years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Intending to supply, including giving to your mates, can mean up to 14 years prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Read our page on drugs and the police for advice if you’re arrested
For more information check out DrugScope's mephedrone page.
This article was last reviewed on: 28/10/11
Date due for next review: 28/10/13