Mephedrone is a dangerous and illegal substance. If you or a loved one is addicted to mephedrone, you may need to complete a medically assisted drug detox program before enrolling in rehab.

About Mephedrone

Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is a designer psychoactive drug and a synthetic stimulant that temporarily increases mental and physical functioning.1 Mephedrone is closely related to amphetamines and is typically used recreationally although it is an illegal substance. Street names for this drug include:

  • Bubbles
  • MCAT
  • Meph
  • White magic
  • Meow-meow
  • M-smack

Mephedrone can come in the form of tablets or capsules, but it is most often used in powder form. Although most people who use mephedrone snort or swallow the whiteish powder, some people may also inject it, which is associated with higher risks of overdose and infection.3

Mephedrone, along with other amphetamines, stimulates the central nervous system and may be addictive, both physically and psychologically. When it is snorted, the effects usually begin to appear within in a few minutes but when swallowed, effects can take up to 45 minutes to appear.

Users also say the comedown after the high is unpleasant and similar to that of cocaine or MDMA, which makes it very difficult to stop using mephedrone. Many individuals become addicted because they continually take more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect and prevent the comedown.2

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), mephedrone use is most popular among young males in urban environments but has also been used by other population groups including young adults and older adults.3

Physical Effects

Mephedrone affects everyone differently based on how much they’ve taken, if they’ve used any other drugs with it, the person’s height and weight, and the strength of the batch they injested.4

Many users report that the effects of mephedrone use are similar to that of cocaine, amphetamines, or ecstasy.5 Most often, users report feeling more confident, alert, and talkative, while also experiencing a rush of euphoria.

Unfortunately, mephedrone use and abuse can also cause a host of unpleasant physical side effects, including:2,5

  • Heart palpitations
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Nosebleeds
  • Muscle tension or clenching
  • Hot flashes
  • Blurred vision
  • Blue/cold fingers
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations

Large doses of mephedrone can also cause seizure or death, especially when the drug is taken with alcohol or other illicit or prescription drugs. Pre-existing medical conditions may also put a user at advanced risk for seizure or death when abusing mephedrone.

Since mephedrone is a relatively new substance, there is not a lot of conclusive research on the long-term effects of mephedrone abuse.

Mephedrone Addiction

Drug addiction of any kind is extremely harmful to the person using drugs, as well as all those around them. Mephedrone addiction itself has not been heavily studied, but evidence suggests that continued use and abuse could easily lead to addiction.4 If you think that you or a loved one may be addicted to mephedrone, there are several signs and symptoms you can look for. The most obvious signs of drug addiction include:6

  • Inability to control mephedrone usage
  • Excessive spending or spending large amounts of money
  • Neglecting obligations at home or at work
  • Uncharacteristic stealing of money or valuables to sell or pawn for money
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using the drug
  • Sudden changes in appearance/lack of hygiene

If you have observed these signs in a loved one, it may be time to sit down and talk with them about their usage habits. In some cases, one-on-one conversations are not productive and do not lead to improvement or lasting change. In these instances, a group intervention may be necessary.

An intervention is simply a planned group meeting in which friends and family of the addicted individual come together to talk to their loved one about his or her addiction. Typically, each individual will share examples of how the person’s addiction has harmed them and then outline specific consequences or boundaries they will draw if that person refuses to get help.

The overall goal of an intervention is to get the addicted person to admit that they have a problem and enroll in a drug and alcohol detox program or rehab program immediately.

Treatment for Mephedrone Abuse

Treatment for most drug addictions almost always starts with a drug detox program. Detox for addictive substances such as mephedrone is designed to break a person’s physical dependence on a drug by safely guiding them through the withdrawal process and ridding their body of harmful chemicals left behind by the drug.

Due to the lack of research and known effects long-term mephedrone abuse, it is a good idea to seek out a medically assisted detox center instead of attempting to detox alone at home. Mephedrone detox may be very unpredictable and dangerous, which could lead to unknown physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

If you or a loved one is unsure of how much mephedrone he or she has ingested or what other drugs he or she took with it, a medically assisted detox program is always the safest and most comfortable way to withdrawal from the drug(s) in his or her system. Medical staff will be able to monitor your vitals and progress, treat uncomfortable symptoms of withdrawal, and provide continued psychological support as you complete the withdrawal process.

Although drug detox is not a cure for addiction, it is the first step to achieving lifelong sobriety. A medically assisted detox program is best followed up with a long-term inpatient rehab program that provides chemical dependency and relapse prevention education, therapeutic services, 12-step involvement, and continued recovery support services.

If you’re ready to get help for your drug addiction, please contact Hill Country Detox today to learn more about our medically assisted detox programs in Austin, Texas.

References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/184233.php
  2. http://www.drugscience.org.uk/drugs/stimulants/mephedrone
  3. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/mephedrone.pdf
  4. https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/mephedrone/
  5. http://www.drugwise.org.uk/mephedrone-methedrone-methadrone-and-methylone/
  6. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/symptoms/con-20020970
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