Synthetic stimulants, otherwise known as bath salts, are drugs (specifically cathinones) that produce the same effects as cocaine, methamphetamines, and hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and MDMA (ecstasy). These drugs aren’t to be confused with Epsom salts, which are used for bathing. Synthetic stimulants are marketed as “Bath Salts” and sold in plain packages with labels like “jewelry cleaner” to avoid legal detection. Mephedrone, the Meow Meow drug, belongs to this drug class. Although the name may sound a bit funny, its side effects are anything but amusing.
What Is Mephedrone?
Also known as 4-methyl methcathinone, 4-MMC, and 4-methylephedrine, mephedrone is a synthetic stimulant drug that’s chemically similar to the cathinone found in the khat plant of eastern Africa. Some common slang names for mephedrone include Meow Meow, M-CAT, M-Smack, and White Magic. Meow Meow belongs to a class of drugs called New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), which include substances that were designed to mimic the effects of other illicit drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. Although mephedrone is often compared to MDMA or Molly, its side effects are significantly more harmful.
Mephedrone works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS) to increase dopamine and norepinephrine. As a result, a mephedrone high may make users feel euphoric and energetic while increasing physiological functions. The key to mephedrone’s effects on the brain is cathinone, which is a naturally occurring stimulant that’s found in the khat plant. It’s chemically similar to ephedrine (adrenaline) and amphetamine, both of which act as CNS stimulants. People with a mephedrone addiction are advised to undergo a medically monitored detox to avoid complications during withdrawals and to potentially help them stop using the drug completely.
What Is Mephedrone Made Of?
The ingredients of mephedrone aren’t clear. Usually, synthetic cathinones come in the form of white or brown crystal-like powders that are sold in small plastic pouches or foil packages. Similarly, mephedrone is usually sold as a white powder or in tablets or capsules. Meow Meow users may swallow, snort, or inject this drug, with snorting being the most common form of administration. The main ingredient in mephedrone is cathinone. NPS and drugs like Meow Meow usually contain unregulated chemicals to avoid legal detection. Usually, when these drugs are detected by law enforcement, distributors change the ingredients to make a new drug. These substances are often referred to as “legal highs” because the changes in chemical formulation technically mean they’re no longer illegal.
Mephedrone Effects on the Body
Mephedrone is often compared to speed, ecstasy, and cocaine, all of which act as CNS stimulants. Some common side effects of mephedrone include:
- Increased alertness
- Increased energy
- Increased confidence
- Sensitivity to touch and sexual arousal
- Increased sociability and empathy
- Increased body temperature
- Elevated heart rate (heart palpitations)
- Teeth grinding
People often take mephedrone and other similar drugs like MDMA while clubbing, partying, or attending music festivals. However, a common danger of mephedrone use is dehydration. Not only do people who are high on this drug neglect to drink water, but they may also mix it with alcohol, which also causes dehydration.
The effects of mephedrone kick in almost immediately after it’s taken and may last for 30 minutes, followed by a rapid comedown. Mephedrone effects duration depends on how the drug is used. When a person snorts mephedrone, the effects may last for 30 minutes. When they take it orally, effects may last between two to three hours. The duration of side effects depends on whether the person has eaten, the form of administration, and the dose taken.
Mephedrone long-term effects like paranoia, depression, hallucinations, and severe panic attacks, as well as severe effects on the heart, arteries, and kidneys, have also been reported by users. Additionally, a condition called mephedrone psychosis has also been reported as a result of chronic use, which produces symptoms like delusive thoughts, hallucinations, and disorganized speech. Furthermore, mephedrone is addictive, and a person who uses this drug for a long period may need the help of an inpatient drug rehab to quit and recover their health.
Our drug rehab in Massachusetts offers a variety of addiction treatment services to help as many people overcome drug and alcohol abuse as we can. Not only do we focus on patients’ recovery while they’re at our facility, but we also provide them with aftercare support through our alumni program to help them stay on track. If you’re looking for addiction treatment for yourself or a loved one, call Clearbrook Treatment Centers today at 570-536-9621 to learn more about our drug and alcohol treatment in Massachusetts.