Mephedrone (also known as M-cat, Meow-meow, Plant Food) is a stimulant from a family of drugs related to amphetamines (such as speed and ecstasy). It can come in the form of powder, tablets and capsules .It's a relatively new drug that was made illegal in 2010. It has become increasingly popular as an alternative to other illegal drugs such as ecstasy or cocaine.
Andi thinks that mephedrone may be already replacing ecstasy in popularity and all the college students we talked to had heard about it. Lauren said that it is the drug that people her age are most likely to be offered in bars or clubs. When sold over the internet, it was often described as a 'plant food', 'research chemicals' or 'bath salts', and 'not for human consumption'.
- Daniel, university graduate, is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and is on the 12 Step Programme. He says that he hasn't tried anything stronger than a cigarette or a cup of coffee since January 2006.
Similar to ecstasy, Mephedrone can make people elated, alert, chatty and have feelings of empathy. Alex used mephedrone once and said that he didn’t notice any significant change in his mood. He described the experience as a ‘short energy boost’ and feels that maybe the effects of mephedrone were distorted by the alcohol he was drinking at the same time.
What are the negative effects of mephedrone?
Mephedrone can cause anxiety and paranoia. Physically it risks over stimulating the heart, circulation and the nervous system which could cause fits. None of the young people we spoke to had experienced any of these negative effects though.
Mary Ann has used mephedrone and described it as a ‘horrible’ drug.
- Age at interview:
- Mary Ann lives with her son and wants to work with children. Ethnic background: White British.
Last reviewed July 2018.
Last updated: January 2015.