Mephedrone — a stimulant that is currently legal in both the U.K. and the U.S. — has gained recent and surprising popularity among club-goers in the U.K., according to Britain's National Addiction Center.
The BBC reported Jan. 14 that the drug, also known as meph, 4-MMC, MCAT, Drone, Meow or Bubbles, was the fourth-most popular drug cited by readers of Mixmag, a popular British dance magazine.
“It's come from nowhere to become very popular,” said researcher Adam Winstock. “For a drug that's been around for a relatively short amount of time, mephedrone has certainly made a big impact on the dance drug scene.”
Users describe the drug's high as falling somewhere between that of ecstasy and cocaine. The drug is sold legally in the U.K. as a plant food; it is a powder that can be taken in pill form, snorted, mixed with liquid or even injected.
Side effects include headaches, heart palpitations, and nausea.