Mephedrone is a psychoactive drug. Psychoactive drugs produce distinctive emotional and social effects. The effects of mephedrone are similar to those of ecstasy (MDMA). It is an amphetamine and a cathinone.
A study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology suggests that mephedrone has similar effects and hazards to MDMA. However, the study also states that the negative effects are potentially more severe.
An amphetamine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system (CNS). If used too much, it can be physically and psychologically addictive.
Cathinone is a naturally occurring stimulant found in the Khat plant of East Africa. Its structure and effects are similar to those of ephedrine and amphetamine.
Mephedrone: A new psychoactive substance
Public health officials are concerned about synthetic cathinones and other types of “new psychoactive substances” (NPS), or “legal highs.”
An NPS is an unregulated substance that mimics existing drugs. They often have altered chemical structures that help them avoid becoming illegal.
They are sometimes called legal highs because the change in chemical means they are no longer illegal. Some countries have adapted their drug laws and made such drugs illegal, regardless of their exact chemical content.
Mephedrone is an artificial substance based on the cathinone compounds found in the Khat plant.
It can come in the form of tablets, capsules, or white powder. Users may swallow, snort, or inject mephedrone, but snorting is the most common way of taking the drug.
Users of mephedrone say that it gives a feeling of stimulation, and that it boosts the following functions:
- the urge to talk
- sex drive
Some say that it makes them feel more confident, talkative, and alert.
People using mephedrone report that the effects of mephedrone last about an hour. They are similar to a combination of ecstasy and cocaine.