Prevention Chemsex: Sexualised Substance Use Mephedrone

Mephedrone

AKA: meph, drone, m-cat, MCAT, meow, meow meow, plant food/feeder, bath salts

Mephedrone is a stimulant drug, chemically similar to amphetamines and derived from cathinone – also found in the drug khat. Another cathinone is known as MDPV (methylenedioxypyrovalerone) or Monkey Dust.

Mephedrone is now commonly cut with other substances and the quality of the drug can vary greatly. What someone may think is meph, may be something else entirely as very similar substances are called ‘Mephedrone’.

How it’s used

Mephedrone is a white, cream or yellow coloured powder. Usually when first received, it comes as a coarse powder made of tiny crystals. These can then be crushed into a finer powder for use.

Mephedrone can be snorted or swallowed in ‘bombs’ (wraps of paper) or dissolved in water and ‘slammed’ (injected) or ‘booty bumped’ (injected with a syringe into the arse).

It sometimes comes as a capsule or pill.

Highs and lows of mephedrone

Highs

For about an hour after taking mephedrone users may feel euphoric, horny, alert, empathic to those around them, confident and talkative. Some people describe it as being like a mixture of MDMA (ecstasy) and cocaine.

Lows

After using mephedrone, people can experience a powerful comedown: feeling tired, depressed and finding it difficult to concentrate for a few days. The strength and duration of the comedown will be worse if more mephedrone has been used for longer periods.

Mouth ulcers and sores are also common as mephedrone can cause people to grind their teeth or bite their tongue or mouth and not notice.

Although there hasn’t been much research into mephedrone, medics think it’s more dangerous to mix it with alcohol as this seems to increase the chances of it causing breathing problems.

Sex on mephedrone

Mephedrone can make users feel more alert, euphoric and horny.

It’s often taken with GHB to keep people awake and offset the drowsy aspect of G.

Mephedrone can make it harder for users to maintain an erection and to cum, so Viagra is often taken alongside it to offset this side effect.

Mixing mephedrone with other drugs can cause unpredictable reactions and seriously reduce your inhibitions. This means users may have sex with people, or in situations, where they may feel uncomfortable afterwards.

A long-term relationship?

Because the effects wear off quite quickly, it’s easy to become dependent on mephedrone and to keep using more. Users may find it hard to stop once they’ve started a session on the drug.

Getting hooked on mephedrone carries several risks:

  • If it’s snorted it can cause soreness in the nose and nosebleeds.
  • It also has an effect on the heart, with the risk of palpitations and an irregular heartbeat.
  • Mephedrone can cause grinding of the teeth and excessive chewing, which can damage teeth and gums, the tongue or the lining of the mouth.
  • It can also cause fits because of the way it stimulates the nervous system.
  • Regular users report low mood, sleep problems and fatigue.
  • Recently some guys have started ‘slamming’ (injecting) mephedrone. This is especially dangerous as the drug gets into the bodies system much quicker.

It can be easy to make a mistake while slamming. If the veins are damaged when injecting mephedrone, it can lead to ulcers or gangrene.

Injecting mephedrone may act as a gateway to injecting other drugs such as crystal meth too. Infections such as HIV and hep C can be passed on easily by sharing injecting equipment.

Useful information to know and share

Less is known about mephedrone than about most other drugs, as it’s relatively new and many drugs with different effects on peoples systems are sold as mephedrone. It’s clear that it stimulates the heart, causing a rapid heartbeat. Some people have also experienced their fingers being cold or turning blue.

Reported side-effects are similar to amphetamines, such as teeth grinding, anxiety, paranoia, short-term memory loss and changes in body temperature.

The lack of research means it’s hard to know the effect mephedrone has on other drugs such as HIV meds, but it’s best to be cautious if someone is using it. The advice is for them to talk to their doctor about how it might affect their other pills.

Next module: Cocaine

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