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- Professor David Nutt, former chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs in the UK on Mephedrone, stated:
People are better off taking Ecstasy or Amphetamines than... [drugs] we know nothing about... these chemicals have never been put into animals, let alone humans
4-MMC (Mephedrone / Meow Meow / MMCAT)
What is 4-MMC?
4-MMC is a synthetic stimulant, derived from Cathinone, which occurs naturally in Khat (a native shrub of East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula).
Its chemical name is 4-methylmethcathinone and it has a structure similar to other Phenylethylamines such as Ephedrine and amphetamines.
4-MMC has been sold and packaged as a plant fertiliser and can come in the form of capsules, tablets or white powder that users may swallow, snort or even inject.
Its street names include: Meow Meow; Mephedrone; and MMCAT and it is sometimes sold as Bubbles (although another drug Methylone 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylcathinone is also sold by this name).
Unfortunately, because 4-MMC is often referred to as Mephedrone, it could easily be mistaken to be Methedrone (a related stimulant) or Methadone (a synthetic opioid used in opiate substitution therapy).
At least two deaths (UK and Sweden), have been attributed solely to 4-MMC use however 4-MMC has been implicated in numerous deaths involving poly-drug use.
- It takes between 15 - 60 minutes for users to 'come-up' on a typical oral dose of 75 - 150mg of 4-MMC, with the high lasting for three to five hours
- It takes up to 15 minutes for users to 'come-up' on a typical nasal dose of 25gm-75mg of 4-MMC, with the high lasting for one to two hours
- As with all unknown substances we suggest you take a little first to test its effect and top up later if you need to
'Desired' effects of 4-MMC include:
- feeling of 'coming-up'
- increased energy
- euphoria; alertness; talkativeness; intense connection with music
- feelings of openness and empathy
Side effects of 4-MMC include:
- increased heart rate and palpitations; increased blood pressure; dilated pupils
- sleeplessness / insomnia; cravings; lethargy; poor concentration and short term memory
- teeth grinding; gurning; dry mouth; suppressed appetite
- intense sweating and high body temperature;
- anxiety / paranoia; depression
- potential narrowing of blood vessels which can lead to loss of circulation / blue tingeing in the extremities such as hands and knees; and pink blotches in the legs, usually around the knees which can last for days
- Other side effects of 4-MMC are reported to include: hallucinations; nausea and vomiting; headaches; and even fitting
Harm reduction tips
Almost nothing is known about the long term effects of 4-MMC. To limit the potential harm caused by using 4-MMC users should only use 4-MMC occasionally, taking less than 250mg per session.
- Snorting 4-MMC is reported to easily irritate the nasal area and many users stick to swallowing the drug
- If you do snort, we suggest chopping as fine as possible, rinsing soon afterwards and do not share straws or bank notes
- Most users either dissolve 4-MMC in a drink or 'bomb' it by wrapping a dose of 4-MMC in cigarette papers before swallowing it with water
- When 4-MMC is taken in small, irregular doses the 'come-down' can be mild
- Despite this, many users report 4-MMC is 'more-ish' and that sustained or heavy use, can easily lead to lethargy, cravings to re-dose and serious side effects
- Dehydration and overheating are the two main risks of 4-MMC
- Users should drink 300mls of water per hour when resting, or up to 600mls of water per hour when hot or active
- 4-MMC users should alternate water with sports drinks to maintain electrolyte levels
- As with all drugs, poly-drug use will increase risks
- Many users find they are able to drink a lot of alcohol on 4-MMC, but that there is little point in doing so as the positive effects of alcohol aren't felt
- Alcohol also increases the risks of dehydration and overheating
- Users who combine 4-MMC with other drugs that have a strong serotonin effect (e.g.: anti-depressants or 5-htp; BZP; DMT; ecstasy; or PMA) face a risk of serotonin syndrome
4-MMC is illegal in Australia, as it is very similar to the prohibited drugs Methcathinone and Cathinone.
Shipments to Australia have been intercepted by the AFP and Australian Customs and some traffickers have already been convicted and sentenced.
4-MMC is also illegal in many other countries such as: Canada; Denmark; Israel; Norway; Sweden; and the UK. 4-MMC is particularly common in the UK, where it only became fully prohibited in April 2010.
The popularity of 4-MMC in the UK is credited by users, not just to its (former) legal status, but also to a decreases in ecstasy tablet purity and 4-MMC's relative affordability.
It is speculated, that to avoid conviction, overseas manufacturers of 4-MMC will now switch production to new 'legal highs' such as MDPV. MDPV could be considered much more harmful than 4-MMC. The therapeutic dose of MDPV is almost 50 times lower than 4-MMC, which increases the likelihood of overdose (particularly without such rigorous’ handling’ as that for legal pharmaceuticals). Further, MDPV has significant dopaminergic activity with anecdotal reports of a strong desire to re-dose, and cases of psychosis and Parkinson-like symptoms with heavy prolonged use.
It is unclear how popular 4-MMC will remain in the UK once supply channels dry up, prices rise and new 'legal highs' emerge. The UK government may introduce stronger laws in the future, which outlaw emerging 'legal highs'.
This article is based on information supplied by Dancewize Victoria