What is mephedrone?
Mephedrone (aka meow meow, m-cat, plant food or drone) is a powder drug which is extremely popular on the gay scene because it’s easily available, inexpensive and very intense. It used to be the legal way of getting a similar high to MDMA. In 2010 it became illegal due to a number of deaths which were linked to it, but it is still popular, especially on the London gay club scene. Meow meow is a speed-like drug that comes in the form of whitish powder and is usually mixed with non-alcoholic beverages or sometimes snorted. In recent years, some people have started injecting it ('slamming'). It can also be smoked or swallowed wrapped in paper or capsules.

How does mephedrone affect my health?
Even though mephedrone makes you feel excited, energetic and generally quite bubbly, it is actually quite a strong chemical drug. It can have a different effect from person to person each time they take it. Apart from making you gurn uncontrollably (so you look like you are about to chew your face off), twitch and sweat, mephedrone is a vascular constrictor that narrows the veins and makes your heart pump faster. Besides this, and the horrific comedown that follows a high, not too many people experience harms when taking mephedrone recreationally.

Many gay men use mephedrone for sex, staying up for many days either snorting or slamming. This can lead to a frightening drug-induced psychosis that can last for many days after you’ve stopped using and could have a severe impact on your work, finances and mental health. Many people experience no problems during and after getting high on mephedrone and you might recover in a couple of weeks if you stop using it, but the way it affects your body chemistry is very powerful and the comedown could be quite frightening. If you are going to slam, do not share equipment and needles as this is very high risk for the transmission of HIV and hep C.

Can I mix mephedrone with alcohol and other drugs?
Like most other drugs, mixing other substances with mephedrone is not advisable. Mephedrone dehydrates the body and drinking alcohol while high on it can further increase the likelihood of dehydration. It also adds extra strain to your heart and brain.

Is mephedrone illegal?
As of 2010, following a number of highly publicised deaths allegedly linked to mephedrone, it became an illegal drug with maximum penalties of five years in prison for possession and up to 14 years for dealing.

What else is mephedrone known as?
Other names include Miaow, meow meow, meph, MC, drone, bounce, 4-MMC, m-cat. Bombing is when you swallow a dose of mephedrone wrapped in paper.

What do I need to know if I am planning to take mephedrone?
If you are planning to use it, avoid mixing it with other substances, especially alcohol. If you are on antidepressants containing MAOIs, avoid using meow meow as well because it can lead to seizures or heart problems. If you are injecting it, make sure you don’t share needles or equipment to avoid catching or spreading HIV and hepatitis C.

Photo by Juliette F on Unsplash