Mephedrone powder is one of hundreds of designer drugs . or legal highs that have been reported in recent years, including artificial chemicals such as synthetic cannabis and semisynthetic substances such as methylhexanamine. These drugs are primarily developed to avoid being controlled by laws against illegal drugs, thus giving them the label of designer drugs.
Mephedrone Powder is a relatively new drug. To date, there is limited evidence of how widely it is used in Australia. Due to the lack of formal research about its use and effects, much of the information used in this fact sheet has been taken from people who have used the drug, rather than from scientific sources
Mephedrone, also known as 4-methyl methcathinone (4-MMC) or 4-methyl ephedrone, is a synthetic stimulant drug of the amphetamine and cathinone classes. Slang names include bath salts, drone, M-CAT,White Magic and meow meow. It is chemically similar to the cathinone compounds found in the khat plant of eastern Africa. It comes in the form of tablets or a powder, which users can swallow, snort or inject, producing similar effects to MDMA, amphetamines and cocaine.
In addition to its stimulant effects, mephedrone produces side effects, of which bruxism is the most common. The metabolism of mephedrone has been studied in rats and humans and the metabolites can be detected in urine after usage.
Mephedrone was first synthesised in 1929, but did not become widely known until it was rediscovered in 2003 at which point it was legal to produce and possess in many countries. By 2007, mephedrone was reported to be available for sale on the internet, by 2008 law enforcement agencies had become aware of the compound, and by 2010, it had been reported in most of Europe, becoming particularly prevalent in the United Kingdom.
Users have reported that mephedrone causes euphoria, stimulation, an enhanced appreciation for music, an elevated mood, decreased hostility, improved mental function and mild sexual stimulation; these effects are similar to the effects of cocaine, amphetamines and MDMA, and last different amounts of time depending on the way the drug is taken. Of 70 Dutch users of mephedrone, 58 described it as an overall pleasant experience and 12 described it as an unpleasant experience.