What is Mephedrone?

Mephedrone is a recreational drug or synthetic stimulant scientifically known as 4-methyl methcathinone (4-MMC) or 4-methyl mephedrone.

It is also known by a variety of street names including MCAT (in the UK), emcat, meow meow, miaow miaow, bath salts and white magic. Mephedrone most commonly comes in the form of a white or crystallised powder and is snorted or swallowed, but it can also come as tablets or be injected.

The smell of mephedrone is famous and has been compared to vanilla, cleaning products, urine and other strong odours – users tend to find the smell pleasant at the time of using, but smelling it the following day when going through a ‘comedown’ is often nauseating.

Due to its background as a legal high, mephedrone has no medical or pharmaceutical uses and is a purely recreational drug.

What Does Mephedrone Do?

Being primarily a stimulant, mephedrone synthesis creates similar effects and is made up of similar ingredients to cocaine, amphetamines and MDMA.

The “positive” effects that users are generally pursuing include:

  • Alertness
  • Heightened confidence and sociability
  • Euphoric feelings
  • Feelings of affection towards those around you
  • Increased sensitivity to touch and sexual arousal

What are the Side Effects of Mephedrone?

Despite the above, there are plenty of other less pleasant side effects that can come with using mephedrone, even on your first time using it.

For example, it can cause:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation or a constant feeling of being on edge
  • Trouble with heat, excess sweating or dehydration
  • Bruxism (grinding your teeth excessively, also known as gurning)
  • Overconfidence
  • Regular urgent bowel movements

Is Mephedrone Legal?

Absolutely not! Considering mephedrone spent years being both famous and infamous as a legal high, it could be considered understandable if you thought it was still legal.

However, the government and legislators got tired of trying to keep up with the onslaught of new chemical combinations that were being released and sought to end the whole thing by implementing The Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, banning the production, sales and supply of all psychoactive substances.

Mephedrone itself has also been reclassified as a Class B drug in the UK, meaning getting caught with it in your possession can mean up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Mephedrone Abuse in the UK

In around 2009, mephedrone exploded onto the UK recreational drug scene and abuse of the substance grew incredibly quickly. 

Since the Psychoactive Substances Act wasn’t around yet and mephedrone itself wasn’t yet illegal, it was commonly sold in shops and online in packaging labelled as “plant food” or “not for human consumption”, allowing sellers to avoid the Misuse of Drugs Act, the Medicines Act, consumer standards laws, and any other legislation that might prevent the successful sale of mephedrone.

Since mephedrone got outlawed, it is now mostly sold through the black market and street dealers, which has drastically increased the price and reduced the purity and reliability of the contents.

Can I Mix Mephedrone and Alcohol?

While there has been little research into this topic, and mephedrone doesn’t interact with alcohol in the same dangerous ways that some other drugs do, mixing alcohol with mephedrone is still generally not a good idea.

Nausea and memory loss are likely results, as well as dehydration. Combining alcohol and mephedrone also increases the strain on your brain and heart that are caused by both individually.

What are the Main Dangers of Mephedrone?

Our list of effects above is probably all you’ll experience if you try mephedrone once or twice. But for regular or prolonged use, some much more nasty issues begin to arise.

For a start, mephedrone constricts the veins and makes the heart beat faster – something that can cause serious heart issues over time.

Staying up for several days on a mephedrone bender also massively increases your chances of drug-induced psychosis, and seizures are also possible in extreme cases.

Are there Mephedrone Deaths?

Unfortunately, yes. Several high profile deaths that were linked to the drug in the UK, US and Sweden between 2008 and 2010 were a huge driver in the drug being banned.

While some of these deaths were ultimately proven not to be related to mephedrone, some emphatically were. In the vast majority of mephedrone-related deaths, the cause of death is the combination of mephedrone and other drugs such as heroin, or the result of overdosing on mephedrone itself.

Due to the strength of the side effects, the euphoric feelings and the fact mephedrone is rapidly metabolised, mephedrone overdose is arguably the biggest health risk of abusing the drug, even before addiction.

What’s a ‘Mephedrone Comedown’?

All that euphoria and serotonin disruption has to end up somewhere! When mephedrone’s effects begin to wear off, depression, exhaustion and lack of concentration can set it.

The ‘comedown’ usually lasts for around a day similar to a hangover but a lot less comfortable, but it can last for several days when a large amount of mephedrone has been consumed. Mouth sores and ulcers are also common due to the grinding of teeth.

Is Mephedrone Addictive?

While less addictive than many stimulants like cocaine and amphetamines, mephedrone can be very addictive due to the associated feelings of confidence and euphoria. Users get used to feeling that way while out socialising and over time, begin to struggle to enjoy themselves without mephedrone. For short term users, withdrawal is very rare because the drug is metabolised rapidly.

However, withdrawal is still possible for long term abusers and becomes more and more of a problem the more dependent on the drug the abuser becomes. Withdrawal symptoms tend to kick in about a day after the last mephedrone dosage, and gets extremely difficult two or three days after, eventually clearing up in around a week.

Withdrawal symptoms can include:

  • Digestive problems
  • Tremors
  • Nasal congestion
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbances

How is Mephedrone Addiction Treated?

If you or somebody you know is addicted to mephedrone, it is certainly possible to break the cycle and win back control of your life.

It is generally recommended that you attend an inpatient rehab facility due to some of the more serious side effects of both mephedrone use and withdrawal. This allows you to be supervised and go through a variety of treatments and therapy sessions including CBT, to maximise your recovery and minimise the chance of relapse.

There are also certain medicines that can help with withdrawal symptoms and make the whole process go more smoothly. We also offer a Detox at Home programme which can be a great idea if you don’t have the time to attend a rehab centre or don’t believe your addiction is serious enough but still need professional help in overcoming your mephedrone use.

The Detox at Home programme involves being in regular contact with our nurses and doctors and checking in with us to see how you’re going. The constant advice and encouragement make things go a lot smoother and has been proven to increase recovery speed.

If you know you want to stop using mephedrone but aren’t sure which option is best for you, we recommend contacting us now or calling us on 0203 151 1280 to discuss your problems.

Our friendly, non-judgemental and experienced staff are ready to listen and give you the best possible free and no-obligation advice on all of the treatment options in your area, so there’s no reason not to call right now!


We understand that taking the decision to commit to rehab can be difficult, you can schedule a tour of one your local rehab centers to see the available facilities, resources and environment. This can help you with taking the first steps towards your rehabilitation

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