Find Support for Mephedrone Addiction

Formerly a ‘legal high’, mephedrone made high-profile headlines more than a decade ago following a number of deaths linked to its use. If you are struggling with a mephedrone addiction, learn more about available rehab treatment here.

A Government report from the time noted that “Mephedrone has no medical, industrial, or scientific use and has been linked to 60 deaths in the UK between 2009 and 2014.”

While using mephedrone might not be as widespread now, it is still an issue for many users. Abusing it can lead to drug addiction and other risks, including overdose, increased chances of stroke, heart attack, and overheating.

What is Mephedrone?

Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) is one of a number of synthetic drugs that have emerged over the past couple of decades, collectively known as New Psychoactive Substances or NPS.

These drugs were made in labs to produce similar effects to established drugs like cannabis, cocaine or heroin. In the case of mephedrone, the effect is similar to stimulants such as amphetamines and ecstasy. It was originally sold as a fertiliser or ‘research chemical’ but was commonly used as a legal high.

Mephedrone is currently a Class B drug in the UK, meaning it is illegal to possess, sell, or pass on. Possession can lead to a sentence of up to 5 years in prison, an unlimited fine or both.

Mephedrone is known by a number of nicknames such as meph, meow, meow-meow, m-cat, plant food, drone, bubbles and kitty cat. It can come in several forms, including pills, capsules, crystals and powder.

The immediate stimulant effects of using the drug can result in a rush of energy and euphoria. It can make the user more confident, talkative, energetic, sensitive to the touch and sexually aroused.

Some people immediately feel negative effects. These can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Agitation
  • Heart palpitations
  • Feeling too hot and sweating profusely
  • Laxative effect (urgently needing to poo)
  • Dizziness
  • A need to grind the teeth

The Risks of Using Mephedrone

Mephedrone can sometimes have more serious side effects, such as tremors and convulsions. It is possible to overdose, and mephedrone has been linked to numerous deaths in the UK and elsewhere.

Research is still ongoing into the drug’s short- and long-term effects, but it is known to affect the heart and circulation.

There can be other risks depending on how mephedrone is taken if snorted; it can lead to severe nosebleeds. Injecting the drug intravenously is not as common, but it can increase the risks of some harmful side effects, as well as cause damage to the veins and soft tissue. This can lead to ulcers and even gangrene.

Sharing needles can also lead to the risk of numerous infections, including:

  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C

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Common Signs of Mephedrone Addiction

As mephedrone is a new drug, we still don’t know much about mephedrone’s long-term impacts, including dependency and addiction. However, one study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology found that “it may have a higher potential for developing dependence than MDMA”.

Psychological dependency has certainly been observed, but withdrawal symptoms have also been reported. This suggests that the drug is physically addictive as well.

Some signs that you may be developing a mephedrone addiction include:

  • Using more and more of the drug
  • Feeling anxious about getting more
  • Trying and failing to quit
  • Avoiding situations where you cannot use the drug
  • Losing interest in other things you used to enjoy
  • Using the drug despite negative consequences
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms if you do not use the drug

Some psychological withdrawal symptoms could include:

  • Tiredness
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Physical withdrawal symptoms could include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Physical tremors
  • Digestive problems

Treatment Options for Mephedrone Addiction

While mephedrone is a relatively new drug, treatments for similar stimulants, including cocaine and amphetamines, have been proven very successful. Mephedrone addiction treatment has the same structure as other prescription drugs in rehab.

The first step is a period of detoxification, during which the body gets rid of the elements of the mephedrone already in the system. Mephedrone withdrawal symptoms and intense cravings will like occur.

A medically supervised detox in a mephedrone drug rehab setting can help you get over the worst of these symptoms and provide medical care and prescription medication if required.

In a residential rehab setting, sometimes known as a private drug and alcohol rehab, you will receive a course of therapies and other addiction treatments to address the psychological part of the addiction and the root causes of your substance abuse.

Therapies for this could involve techniques like group therapy, counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). You will learn to change how you think and behave regarding drugs and drug use and develop strategies for avoiding relapse once you leave rehab. A tailored aftercare programme can also help with that.

We Can Help with Mephedrone Addiction Treatment

If you are worried about using mephedrone or any other substance, it might be time to seek professional help.

Addiction is difficult to beat alone, but every addiction can be successfully treated. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between substance and behavioural addictions?

Substance addiction means being addicted to drugs or alcohol, stuff that you can put into your body to change the chemistry of it. Behavioural addiction is centred around being addicted to activities. Gambling, sex, and playing video games are all things people can become addicted to. Substance addiction can cause more physical problems as you are putting toxins into your body whereas behavioural addiction only has psychological effects but can lead to physical issues such as self-harming and suicide.

How long does rehab last?

A typical programme with us at Asana Lodge usually takes around 28 days – that programme includes drug or alcohol detox. After this period, you will be physically sober and hopefully feel ready to return to your normal life. Some people can afford to stay in rehab longer and programmes can run up to 12 weeks in some facilities. What is important is that you pick the programme that suits your circumstances and recovery goals.

What happens after inpatient rehab?

After inpatient rehab, you will be taken care of by the aftercare team. You will likely continue with some therapies and will be encouraged to attend support groups. These are designed to prevent relapse and help you stay sober.


John Gillen - Author - Last Updated: 20 June 2023

John has travelled extensively around the world, culminating in 19 years’ experience looking at different models. He is the European pioneer of Nad+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) treatment to Europe in 2010; and recently back from the USA bringing state of the art Virtual Reality Relapse Prevention and stress reduction therapy. his passion extends to other metabolic disturbances and neurodegenerative diseases.

The journey continues, in recent times john has travelled to Russia to study and research into a new therapy photobiomudulation or systemic laser therapy working with Nad+ scientists and the very best of the medical profession in the UK and the USA, together with Nadcell, Bionad Clinics own select Doctors, nurses, dieticians and therapists, Johns’ passion continues to endeavour to bring to the UK and Europe new developments with Nad+ therapy in preventive and restorative medicine and Wellness. In 2017 John Gillen was made a visiting Professor at the John Naisbitt university in Belgrade Serbia.