This newcomer on the drugs scene is supposed to be like a milder form of MDMA. But what is mephedrone? Are there any risks? And why the hell do people call it ‘meow meow’?

Packet with label 'magic plant food' called frog-e

Mephedrone is sometimes sold as 'plant food'

What is mephedrone?

It’s a chemical drug that’s been described as a mixture between speed, coke and MDMA. It started life as a ‘legal high’ and was sold as plant food until the Government banned it in 2010. It’s a stimulant and comes in powder or crystal form. Some people say it smells like a cat’s litter tray – hence the name, meow meow.

How do you take mephedrone?

It’s usually snorted like cocaine, or wrapped in paper and swallowed. It rarely comes in pill/capsule form, or is injected.

Why do people take mephedrone?

  • You feel amazing, in fact, you ARE AMAZING. Mephedrone gives you bags of confidence and makes you feel utterly euphoric.
  • You love everyone. You feel like the human race is a brilliant thing, and we should, like, all totally hug each other and learn to understand each other.
  • You can’t stop talking. If you can’t talk because you’re gurning so hard, you’ll text everyone to tell them you love them.
  • You’re wide awake and all stimulated; you could dance and dance and dance if you wanted to without getting tired. And you’re likely to want to shag and shag and shag if you get the opportunity.

What are the bad side effects of mephedrone?

  • It’s very moreish. Lots of users find they spunk their way through entire grams to try and keep the high alive.
  • Your body temperature goes haywire – you may find yourself a hot, sweaty mess, or shivering like you’re in the middle of a blizzard.
  • Your jaw muscles can tighten up and ache from all the gurning, and the rest of your muscles may twitch involuntarily.
  • You can feel sick, paranoid and really scared.
  • You can get a pretty hefty nosebleed when you snort it.
  • It can give you a headache of doom, or make you vomit.
  • Not many people tell you this, but it makes you need to do an almighty poo.
  • Can’t sleep. Won’t sleep. Even though you really really want to after a while.
  • It can over stimulate your nervous system, making you hallucinate, or even have a fit.

How long do the effects last?

It takes between 15 to 45 minutes to start feeling the effects, and can take a little longer if you’ve eaten a big meal.

It lasts between two to three hours, although during that time lots of users are tempted to take more to keep the euphoric high going.

It may take a further one to four hours to feel able to sleep.

Is mephedrone addictive?

Technically, mephedrone isn’t addictive as there aren’t huge withdrawal effects. That said, many users say they find it really hard to control how much they take once they’ve started.

Can you drink on mephedrone?

It’s not a good idea to mix alcohol and mephedrone. It can make the effects of the drug much stronger (no, not in a good way). It can also make you feel more nauseous and lose your memory.

Can you take mephedrone if you’re on antidepressants?

Not if your antidepressant contains MAOIs (check the piece of paper that comes with them). Combining mephedrone with MAOIs is potentially fatal.

Can you overdose on mephedrone?

People have died after taking mephedrone, however there isn’t a huge amount of evidence that the drug directly caused their death. Even so, taking huge amounts isn’t a great idea.

How can I reduce the risks if I take mephedrone?

  • Don’t share a bank note or straw with anyone if you’re snorting it. Mephedrone is harsh on your nose and can make your nostrils bleed. Sharing can put you at risk of catching viruses like hepatitis.
  • All stimulants can put you at risk of overheating. Make sure you sip water regularly, and don’t get too sweaty and dehydrated.
  • Don’t take mephedrone if you have any heart problems.
  • If you’re up for a massive shag fest, make sure you’ve got plenty of condoms.

What happens if I get caught with mephedrone?

It’s a Class B drug, so the maximum sentence is five years and a fine for possession. For more information about what to do if you’re caught with drugs, see our article here.

Photo of FrogE packet by Raquel Baranow

Next Steps

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drugs a-z


Updated on 29-Sep-2015