Mephedrone is a synthetic stimulant in the cathione family, so it is broadly similar to amphetamine drugs. It looks like an off-white or pale yellow powder, and it gained huge popularity between 2003 and 2007 (partly through internet sales). As of 2011, it is now illegal in the United States. Street names for mephedrone include M-Cat, Meow-Meow, Bubbles, Plant Feeder, Meph and White Magic.
Mephedrone can be swallowed, snorted, injected, inserted rectally, or smoked.
Mephedrone quickly boosts mood and enhances the experience of pleasurable sensations (such as listening to music and having sex). It also sharpens your mind, improving your cognitive processing speed and your concentration. Some users also enjoy using mephedrone recreationally because it can increase affection towards other people in social settings. In sum, mephedrone users often have experiences that are broadly similar to those induced by cocaine. However, the side effects are many. They include nasal pain, nose bleeds, dizziness, heart arrhythmias (i.e. an irregular heartbeat), tense facial muscles, vomiting and sleep difficulties.
When mephedrone users seek treatment for their addiction, they often have experience with other forms of substance abuse and yet consistently report that mephedrone is one of the hardest drugs to stop using. After the euphoria and giddiness wear off, users immediately begin to crave more of the drug.
Firstly, it is extremely difficult for mephedrone users to be sure of what they are getting. The purity of the drug is seldom what is advertised, and this means that any apparent purchase of mephedrone could also come with a wide range of side effects associated with whatever else is being sold. Some of these side effects could be deadly.
Secondly, even just one experiment with genuine mephedrone could cause the user’s death. The abnormal heart rhythms associated with the drug will increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke, and users can experience dangerously high body temperatures that may be fatal (especially when combining mephedrone with other drug, such as ecstasy). It is also clear the mephedrone adversely influences circulation, leading to blue hands and feet.
Finally, it is worth noting that mephedrone can cause damage to the user’s mental health. Paranoia and delusions can occur, causing an experience not unlike suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.
Treatment for mephedrone addiction at White Sands involves inpatient medical detox combined with a carefully designed program of therapy. Mephedrone users typically find it very difficult to abstain from use of the drug, and rehab provides the highest chance of recovering a normal life that is free from the pressures and pains of addiction.