Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is relatively new to the recreational drug using scene. It is a stimulant drug that is chemically similar to amphetamines and produces effects like those of ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines.
As mephedrone in such a new drug there is little research based information about its effects. People who have used mephedrone report that it is similar to taking ecstasy, cocaine, or amphetamines. The effects are said to last between 2 – 4 hours.
There is limited research on the mephedrone and the risk of dependence, addiction and overdose. A small number of studies have reported that people who use mephedrone often experience strong cravings and the desire to re-dose during drug using sessions.
As a derivative of cathinone, mephedrone is illegal in New Zealand, scheduled as a Class B1 drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975. The penalty for importing, manufacturing or supplying mephedrone is a maximum of 14 years imprisonment. Possession of mephedrone could incur three months jail and a fine up to $500.
The Drug Foundation’s message is clear: no drug use is the safest drug use. However, we know there will be occasions when people ignore warnings and use drugs in a dangerous manner. To help keep communities safe we therefore provide information about proven methods of drug harm reduction.