Plant Food Reacts Just like Cocaine and Ecstasy but Ever so Deadly
The newest most popular drug to hit the party scene today giving hallucinogenic producing feelings of elation, much like cocaine and not illegal at all to purchase. This new drug is mephedrone referred to as "plant food" due to the fact it does contain the same exact ingredients which are in those tiny packets that come with fresh flower bouquets, but are ever so deadly.
This drug is usually manufactured in China and then exported to the United Kingdom and Austria, where it can be purchased and sold online all legally. Therefore, it is not subject to any regulations.
Unfortunately, this means it is available for purchase by any person especially teenagers. It is also leading to serious injuries and death.
Back in 2009, the Guardian from the United Kingdom, had ran a report about this new recreational drug that was just appearing upon the scene. These types of drugs are chemically alike to legal substances which are not subject to drug laws therefore, making them popular. Teens and young adults especially view these drugs as safe because they are legal not realizing they can be just as dangerous and fatal as narcotics.
Dr. John Ramsey, toxicologist with of St. Georgetown University of London, explained that these drugs produce effects just as similar as the drugs they come from. The drugs intense effects are basically identical to those of ecstasy and amphetamines.
In relation to mephedrone, it is inexpensive and can be bought in bulk quantities. This makes it even more of a danger due to knowledgeable persons using it can overdose on it easily. Being named something that sounds totally not dangerous as "plant food" young persons have no idea what can happen.
Dr. Ramsey remarks there is always something upcoming that is not within legislation. All that can be done is make persons aware of risks.
North Carolina Plant Food Deaths
At the beginning of October, a student and another male were found dead on a fire escape after an overdose of plant food called "Meow Meow." They were just 19 and 21 years old.
Mephedrone is extremely popular with the rave crowd. The effects are much like those you would get from cocaine, methadone and ecstasy symptoms go from pleasant happy feelings to heavy hallucinogenic to strong toxic effects. This drug has caused at least fifty deaths in the United Kingdom and a few in the United States.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services notes in reality it is not plant food and packages are marked clearly. It comes in tablet form to take orally or in powder which is snorted. Among the street name of Meow Meow it is also called Bubbles and Bounce.
In the United States today mephedrone is not approved for medical use.
Mephedrone base chemical structure has been identified as phenethylamine and its associated chemical structure is that of methcathinone. It is sold at room temperature.
The negative health effects of mephedrone are most similar to other stimulant drugs. These effects can cause increased heart rates, chest pain, dizziness, irritability, nosebleeds, nausea, vomiting. In one case of a 22-year-old male who had used mephedrone it had produced the effects of dilated pupils, increased heart rate, agitation and heightened blood pressure. He had used it as a recreational drug.
Mephedrone is primarily used by young persons between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four year old. Mostly used by males in urban areas that regularly attend clubs, disco and dance events.
It is available for purchase on the internet and is advertised as a "research chemical", bath salts or plant food.
Mephedrone is not a controlled substance and therefore does not fall under the Controlled Substance Act. However, it can be acknowledged as counterpart of methcathinone under the analogue provision of Controlled Substance Act Title 21 United States Code 813. In which case concerning cases with law enforcement that do involve mephedrone can be prosecuted.
Researchers Discover Risk
Researchers back in July of this year discovered the Mephedrone alters so much in quality that those who use it can overdose easily. The University of Sunderland's labs researchers lead by Dr. John Lough, noticed that even though impurities levels were low, of the six samples they had tested three of them had shown different particle sizes and crystalline form which translate to the drug can alter on its effects and safety upon the user.
The researchers examined samples of the illegal drug M-Cat, Miaow-Miaow and Moonshine which is available for purchase online as a plant fertilizer.
Dr. Lough stated that the samples they had tested of mephedrone which were bought over the internet did not contain the same crystalline form, they were different sized. Among the six samples tested three had different sizes. They also noticed a lack of organic impurities which advocated they were manufactured in synthetic chemistry labatories instead of being cut in off street facilities.
Dr. Lough explains that the safety is associated to accumulation of a drug circulating in the body. If mephedrone had negative effects at levels closely needed by the person using to obtain a high, then there would be heavy danger of users enduring negative effects due to it not being clear of how much of the drug they were actually consuming.
In an example form, if they used a different crystalline form than the normal form they were use to it could cause greater levels of the drug circulating their body than what they are use to.
Dr. Lough's belief based on the initial testing of mephedrone samples, the university is well set nationally to establish more scientific methods to rapidly establish the current "legal highs" in which dealers are now pushing.
Currently on one site you can purchase 99.9% pure mephedrone crystal white in content without hardly any odor to it. The prices range from $96.00 for 5g to $400.00 for 50g and top price of $1600.00 for 250g. As they note it does include shipping.
Northern Ireland Survey on Mephedrone before ban
Research done at the Queen's School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work had interviewed 23 mephedrone users during May and June 2010. The participants were 19 to 51 years old and about half were female. Nineteen of the participants were employed and most occupations were affiliated with business, trades and service industry on the public level.
The highlights of the study had revealed:
21 persons out of the 23 still used mephedrone even after it had been banned.
Fifty percent of the participants preferred mephedrone over cocaine or ecstasy. Some of them did have negative effects such as insomnia, rough come down and depression the following day. Unfortunately, these side effects did not discourage them not to use the mephedrone.
Most of the participants had used cocaine, ecstasy or amphetamines.
The conclusion of their study had proven that even with mephedrone banned it did not greatly impact anyone from purchasing or using this drug.
Mephedrone uses say they like it because it heightens:
eagerness to talk
The effects of mephedrone last only about one hour before it starts to wear off. Most of the users state it is like taking ecstasy and cocaine at the same time.
Most noted side effects:
Blue colored or cold fingers
Non-surveyed side effects:
Serious Panic Attacks
Some statements have been made that these effects can produce lack of sleep after overusing of mephedrone for a few days. Due to the fact it is a stimulant it does make obtaining sleep very difficult.
Safety of mephedrone:
Just like numerous recreational drugs it was never developed first as a medicine but developed in back street laboratories. Therefore, human testing was never done. Therefore science has no immediate knowledge of long, short or medium term use. It is also way to early for science to even know if it can be addicting. It has been noted that a great number of persons who use mephedrone do re-dose once the effects start to wear off most of the time within an hour. A few reports indicate users using more than what they had planned on and finding difficulty in stopping to take the drug.