The Scottish government has called on the Home Office to ban the “legal high” drug mephedrone – sometimes called “bubbles”, “drone”, “meow meow”, “meph”, “M-CAT” or “white magic” – after the death of a 49-year-old woman in Dunfermline last month.
According to a briefing paper published by the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University mephedrone is widely available online and described by sellers as a “plant fertiliser” or “plant food”.
While it is prominently marked “not for human consumption”, it has become popular among some as a recreational drug and can be acquired for as little as £3 per dose.
A factsheet on the University of Sussex Students’ Union website says mephedrone can be snorted or swallowed in capsules or ‘bombs’ (wraps of paper), or dissolved in liquids. It can also be mixed with tobacco and smoked.
Similar to the already illegal drugs ecstasy and cocaine, mephedrone may produce a feeling of euphoria and increased wellbeing, decrease social inhibitions, and increase energy and talkativeness.
But the drug also has a number of adverse effects, including heart palpitations, mental illness and sometimes death.
Scottish Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing says the sooner the drug’s banned the better: “I wrote to the Home Office last week to stress the importance of finding a solution to this problem.
A Home Office spokesman told the Wigan Evening Post: “The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs are looking at the dangers of mephedrone, and the related cathinone compounds, as a priority and will report back to government as soon as possible.”
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