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

  1. The basics
  2. How it’s used
  3. Highs and lows
  4. Taking mephedrone
  5. Useful to know

The basics

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.

There were concerns about the safety of the drug that led to it being classified as a Class B drug in 2010. Before this it was legally sold as plant food or bath salts. Mephedrone is now commonly cut with other substances and the quality of the drug can vary greatly.

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


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


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 you use more mephedrone for longer.

Mouth ulcers and sores are also common as mephedrone can cause you to grind your teeth or bite your 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.

Taking mephedrone

Mephedrone can make you 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 you to maintain an erection and come, 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 you may have sex with people, or in situations, where you may feel uncomfortable afterwards.

Read more about sex on drugs, also known as ‘chemsex’ ››

A long-term relationship?

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

Getting hooked on mephedrone carries several risks:

  • If you snort it, you can get soreness in your 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 your teeth and gums, your tongue or the lining of your 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 your system much quicker.

It can be easy to make a mistake while slamming. If you damage the veins 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.

Read about minimising risks when taking drugs ››

Useful to know

Less is known about mephedrone than about most other drugs, as it’s relatively new. 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 you’re using it – talk to your doctor about how it might affect your other pills.

Mephedrone and the law

Mephedrone was previously a ‘legal high’ sold as plant food or bath salts but because of concerns about its safety it was classified as a Class B drug in 2010.

That means carrying it can land you in prison for up to five years and you might have to pay a fine. Selling or supplying it carries a penalty of up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine.

Next drug: Legal highs ››

‹‹ Previous drug: GHB/GBL

Published: 20/08/2018
Next review: 20/08/2021