Not to be confused with Methedrine, Methedrone, Methadone or Methylone,Mephedrone is all over the national news as the latest greatest danger set to destroy society as we know and experience it.
Mephedrone’s allure lies in its low cost and variety of forms. It can come as a powder, pill or capsule and can be snorted, swallowed or injected. Although it is widely known to be synthesised from the cathinone compounds of the ‘khat’ plant, little is known about its toxicology or pharmacology.
Mephedrone acts very similarly to other synthetic compounds in the amphetamine family, producing a range of euphoric or empathetic responses on the one hand and another range of paranoid, anxious and irrational responses on the other.
Because of the relatively short time that Mephedrone has been available, few tests have been done and little research has been commissioned into its long term effects.
Mephedrone has earned a lot of media attention recently due to unsubstantiated reports that it was linked to the deaths of two young men. Calls were made for the immediate banning of the substance, which were quickly implemented. The rushed decision was derided by scientists who claimed that the ban was put in place purely because of pressure from the media and single issue pressure groups. The Lancet Group, who release the Lancet Medical Journal, stated that the decision as a:
‘…collapse in integrity of scientific advice in the UK’.