Are you, or is someone you know, using mephedrone? Bath salts are one of the newest illicit drugs on the street, and they can be quite dangerous.
If you think that you or someone you know has a mephedrone addiction, read on to find out more.
Is Mephedrone Addictive?
Of course, we’ve talked at length about addiction on this website. Addiction doesn’t necessarily mean that your body needs a drug or a substance in order to survive. In some cases, that’s almost true. Your body will have a physical dependence on a substance, and will need more and more of it just to be able to carry on as “normal.”
But there are other drugs which are psychologically addictive. Cocaine is one; cocaine is not necessarily physically addictive, but can lead to withdrawal. Caffeine is another. You can’t get addicted to caffeine if you drink too much. However, you can psychologically crave the substance.
Mephedrone addiction is somewhere in the middle. It’s possible to become physically addicted to mephedrone, but it’s more likely that you’ll develop a mental dependency on the substance. Taking mephedrone will cause a stimulating effect, and your body will need more and more of the drug to achieve the same effect in the future.
So how common is mephedrone addiction? Let’s look at the drug and how it’s used in the United States and other parts of the country.
How Common is Mephedrone Addiction?
Mephedrone was created in the 1920s. But it wasn’t discovered as a recreational drug until the first decade of the 2000s. In 2003, it was “rediscovered,” and by 2007 or 2008 it was available on the internet for sale.
Mephadrone is a synthetic drug, but it wasn’t originally a drug. It was a plant food. Like laughing gas and others legally obtained substances, mephedrone was discovered to create a “high” when swallowed or smoked.
Again, it’s a relatively new drug, so addiction to mephedrone hasn’t been studied closely. The drug is more widely used in Europe than it is in the United States, and is particularly prevalent in the UK. In the United States, it’s classified as a Schedule I drug, along with heroin, ecstasy and marijuana.
Mephedrone has been banned in many countries, but still may be available as “plant food.” It is, of course, also available illegally on the streets. The UK’s National Addiction Centre reports that mephedrone is the fourth most popular club drug.
Are There Other Addictive Bath Salts?
You may refer mephedrone referred to in a few different ways. In fact, though, there are other addictive bath salts. You’ll hear these referred to on the street as:
- Ocean snow
- Meow Meow
- Lunar wave
- White magic
There are more names, of course, and some depend on the region in which you’re buying the drug. The name can also vary depending on what the addictive bath salts are mixed with.
Do Bath Salts Make You Aggressive?
In 2012, bath salts made the headlines. A naked Florida man, Rudy Eugene, attacked a homeless man brutally. Eugene stole Ronald Poppo’s bible and beat him unconscious. He then removed Poppo’s pants, and proceeded to begin to tear into his face with his teeth.
The incident left the homeless man blind in both eyes and caught national, even worldwide, attention. Bath salts did, too. Rumors started that Eugene had been smoking bath salts, though a toxicology report only revealed marijuana.
The truth is that it’s unclear what caused Eugene’s cruel and bizarre behavior. But the media attention began the theory that bath salts cause aggressive behavior.
In fact, bath salts do have a few side effects which could cause aggressive behavior.
- Loss of control of motivation
- Loss of emotional perception
- Increased hyperactivity
- Reduced impulse control
- Defensive behaviors impaired
So while the case of Rudy Eugene may or may not have been linked to bath salts, mephedrone and other bath salts may be linked to an increase in aggressive behaviors.
All drugs carry their risks. Mephedrone is no exception. There are the risks of aggressive behavior, and also physical risks to taking the drug.
Someone who has a mephedrone addiction may notice a loss of circulation in the extremities. The drug has an impact on heart health. Severe nosebleeds occur after snorting mephedrone. Overheating is a cause of death in those with a mephedrone addiction.
Injecting any drug is more dangerous than snorting or smoking. The risk of overdose is increased exponentially, and this is another mephedrone danger. This is especially true when the drug is “cut” with other substances: it’s not just the mephedrone that’s entering your bloodstream.
Mephedrone Legal Status (UK and US)
The use and possession, as well as the sale of mephedrone is restricted in countries around the world. Israel was one of the first states to ban the substance. Many European countries followed suit.
In Canada, the drug is not specifically listed as an illegal drug. However, “amphetamines and their salts,” which would include mephedrone, are controlled.
In the United States, the drug is not illegal to possess or sell. It is, however, listed as a Schedule I drug, and it’s illegal to possess or sell the drug specifically for human consumption.
In the United Kingdom, synthetic mephedrone was banned in 2010. They are a Class B drug, although use in the UK is still more prevalent than in most other nations.
Why Bath Salts were Once Legal
Bath salts and mephedrone were once considered legal because, like many other substances, they have practical applications. Laughing gas, ketamine, prescription drugs and other substances are similar to mephedrone in that there is a use for them. However, when abused, they can cause dangerous side effects and addiction.
Mephedrone is still legal for purchase in some countries, but not for human use. As the dangers of the drug have become more apparent, governments have begun to ban the substance.
If you suffer from mephedrone addiction, or if you know someone who does, please check out our other pages on addiction, withdrawal and recovery to get the help you need.