man*check becomes sidekicks.berlin13. July 2023
Safer Use21. July 2023
What is it?
Mephedrone (4-MMC / 4-Methylmethcathinone) is a stimulant substance, which is also known as mephi or mephe in the scene. Internationally, it is also called meow or m-cat/mkat.
Mephedrone is recognizable by its distinctive, pungent odor, which is said to Wennbe reminiscent of cat urine. It usually occurs as a sticky, crystalline powder whose color can vary between white, yellowish, brownish, and greenish.
Mephedrone is a cathinone, an artificial variant of the psychoactive ingredient in khat leaves, which are traditionally chewed for their stimulant effect in several Eastern and Southern African countries. When mephedrone was not yet banned, it was sold as a supposed “bath salt” (which later on also happened with other so-called “new psychoactive substances”).
There are several mild chemical variations in circulation, most notably 3-MMC, which is sometimes also sold as mephedrone. According to reports, they differ only slightly in effect and dosage, problematic however, is that there is still little scientifically proven knowledge about them.
Mephedrone is not to be confused with the similarly named substance meth(-amphetamine) or with the heroin substitute, methadone.
It is a so-called research chemical (new synthetic substance) about which scientific facts on risks and side effects are not yet available. Mephedrone has been classified as a non-marketable narcotic since January 22, 2010.
3-MMC or 4-MMC?
3-MMC is a substance that is explicitly offered in Berlin – sometimes in addition or as an alternative to mephedrone (4-MMC). What is the difference between the two?
3-MMC is a chemical modification of mephedrone (4-MMC). It was originally developed to circumvent legal prohibitions – but is now also illegal. Both substances have a similar effect.
Attention: the name under which a substance is being offered is not always reliable. It is sometimes 3-MMC that is actually being sold under the name “mephedrone”, and behind both names, other new variants may be hidden (e.g. 3-CMC, 4-MEC,..). Drug-checking/ drug testingcan provide clarity here. However, the newer a substance is, the less knowledge and certainty there is about its effects and possible dangers. Taking them therefore runs a higher risk.
Users unanimously report on some subjective differences between the two substances:
- The high from 3-MMC is more stimulating and less emotional than from 4-MMC. In comparison, users describe the effect of 3-MMC as “a bit more like cocaine” and that of 4-MMC as “a bit more like MDMA”.
- 3-MMC has a less intense effect than 4-MMC. Some users therefore try to compensate with taking a higher dose.
Some (but not all) users also report:
- Some experience the comedown and ensuing hangover as slightly less harsh with 3-MMC than with 4-MMC.
- Some find that 3-MMC gives a slightly less intense burning sensation in the nose.
- Some find the smell of 3-MMC slightly less intense, and this smell also seeps through less into the body sweat than with 4-MMC.
How is it taken?
Mephedrone is usually sniffed through the nose or swallowed as “boogers” (e.g., filled cigarette papers or empty capsules). Rectal consumption (“booty bumping”, “boofing”) or slamming, i.e. injecting, is also possible.
When sniffing, a typical dose is about 20-80mg. The effect sets in after a few minutes and disappears rather abruptly after about 1-2 hours. Mephedrone burns more uncomfortably in the nasal mucous membrane compared to other party drugs.
Usually, about 50-200mg are swallowed. The effect starts later (about 20-60 minutes), lasts longer, and decreases gradually after about 2.5-4 hours over a longer period.
Habitual users often take more because they have become accustomed to the substance and need more to achieve an effect.
A reliable dosage is often not possible, because it is not known in which concentration the substance is present and which other substances are added. Pay attention to current substance warnings and, if possible, use drug-checking offers.
Due to possible contamination with other substances, mephedrone should not be slammed.
How does it feel?
Generally, jeach substance can have a different effect on each individual. The effect of mephedrone depends on personal circumstances (body mass, tolerance, ingested amount, on a full or empty stomach, etc.). An important role is played by your environment, and by your mental and physical condition.
Mephedrone has a stimulating effect. It causes an urge to move, feelings of happiness, and a strong connection with other people. It makes you confident, outgoing and talkative and intensifies sensory perceptions.
Mephedrone has a strong sexually arousing and disinhibiting effect. You probably perceive other people as more attractive if you have taken mephedrone. For these reasons, it is one of the substances widely used for chemsex.
Some users classify the high from mephedrone as halfway between cocaine and MDMA, with stimulant effects reminiscent of cocaine (or amphetamines) and social effects reminiscent of MDMA/ecstasy, but with a more pronounced sexual component.
Side effects and long-term impact
- The stimulant effects of mephedrone affect the cardiovascular system. Especially at high doses, high blood pressure, palpitations, unpleasant nervousness, or hyperactivity may occur. In addition, physical effects such as profuse sweating, feeling cold, dry mouth, and loss of appetite may occur.
- At higher doses, especially in combination with sleep deprivation, there is a risk of experiencing psychological symptoms such as delusions, panic, or paranoia.
- Mephedrone can trigger a strong desire to redose. This effect may be mild or manageable at first, but it increases with regular use and can lead to unplanned prolonged, or excessive use. In extreme cases, you may lose control for days at a time and neglect other needs and obligations.
- This urge is strongest when coming down about 1 hour after nasal consumption (sniffing). If mephedrone is swallowed, the need for more occurs much more weakly.
- Coming down may also cause moodiness, nervousness, or headaches. This can also motivate people to continue using it to temporarily suppress these effects, but they return sooner or later all the more intensely.
- In the days following extensive or frequent use, there is often loss of desire and drive, sleep disturbances and memory lapses, as well as nervous, depressive, and even suicidal moods (similar to MDMA).
At high doses, especially in combination with sleep deprivation, anxiety and delusions and even paranoia are possible.
Frequent, high-dose use can cause circulatory issues that manifest as blue discoloration of the lips, elbows, and knees.
An overdose of mephedrone can lead to a coma. Deaths have also occurred in this context.
To avoid overdose, mephedrone should be dosed as low as possible and not re-dosed.
If you feel an ongoing state of discomfort, get medical help. If you find a passed out person, check if they’re breathing, provide first aid and call an ambulance (112).
You can also contact these hotlines:
Drug emergency phone: 01806 313031 (24 hours)
Drug emergency service: 030 19237 (24 hours)
- Mephedrone increases the neurotoxic effect of speed/MDMA.
- Generally speaking: consuming more than one substance at a time puts your body and your mental state under more pressure. Individual effects can be intensified, weakened or delayed. The probability of an overdose or side effects is not calculable.
- Currently, little is known about the risks of mixed use.
- Mephedrone + MDMA, LSD, crystal meth, or other substances that release serotonins: Due to the effects profile, it can be assumed that mixed use with other substances leads to an increased release of serotonin up to the so-called serotonin syndrome (e.g. MDMA). This is a life-threatening excess of serotonin in the brain.
- Mephedron + MAO-Inhibitors, psychotropic drugs, or certain drugs(DXM, Tramadol): This can also lead to serotonin syndrome. Check with doctors if in doubt.
Addiction potential and withdrawal
- BWith mephedrone, there is a rapid development of tolerance.. This means that you would need to take more and more of the substance over time to achieve the same effect.
- Breaks in use and temporary abstinence can help to counteract a tolerance effect.
- There is a high risk of psychological dependence associated with the use of mephedrone.
- Due to strong, unpleasant urges to redose, you may use it again too quickly. This encourages the development of tolerance and increases the likelihood of developing psychological dependence.
- Little is known about withdrawal from mephedrone so far. When mephedrone is discontinued after sustained and long-term use, physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms may occur. Symptoms may include palpitations, sweating, dizziness, tremors, digestive problems, as well as anxiety, paranoia, depression, hallucinations, or panic attacks.
- Self-directed withdrawal (without medical consultation or supervision) can be psychologically stressful. Find out which hospitals in your area offer medically/therapeutically supervised withdrawal.
- The exact composition of mephedrone is never known. Each compound may contain different substances in different amounts.
Pay attention tof current substance warnings and, if possible, use drug-checking offers. When using, test only a small amount, wait for the effect and do not do more until the first dose shows its effects.
- Watch your dosage. For nasal use, a smaller amount is sufficient than for oral use.
- Use only your own consumption utensils. When using sharp-edged tubes for sniffing (e.g., banknotes, plastic straws), minor injuries to the nasal lining may occur and minor traces of blood may remain attached to the tube. If you share tubes with others while sniffing, hepatitis C or herpes may be transmitted.
- Always measure your own dose. Do not delegate your responsibility to others. That way, you’re guaranteed to stay on top of things.
- It is never okay to administer substances to other people without their knowledge and consent! You endanger the life of a person and are liable to prosecution. If you’re witnessing such a situation, get help from other people and protect the person who’s being spiked.
- Do not slam/inject mephedrone. The concentration of the active ingredient can vary greatly. In addition, it is never known what other (toxic) substances are added. However, if you do decide to inject, always use your own sterile injecting equipment (needle and pump) and dose as low as possible.
- Do not consume tablets nasally. Water-insoluble substances can cause clumping in the lungs.
- Use only when you are well and in a place where you feel comfortable.
- Nasal consumption can be tough on the nasal lining.
To protect your nose while snorting, you can chop the crystals as finely as possible and then flush your nose with saline solution.
- Avoid using multiple drugs at the same time. Mixed use makes unexpected and unwanted effects more likely. There is also little established knowledge about how mephedrone works with other substances.
- Mephedrone should not be taken alone.Consume with people you trust and feel comfortable with.Ideally, there should be someone with you who can stay sober and help if necessary.
- Ensure adequate fluid and food intake. Under the influence of mephedrone, your body’s hunger and thirst signals are suppressed.
- Mephedrone keeps you alert and active. You can set a limit beforehand on how long you want to stay awake. Allow yourself enough time to recover after a long trip.
- Do not use should you have any mental illness, cardiovascular problems, liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure, or diabetes. Pregnant individuals should not take mephedrone.
- After consumption, you may feel out of tune, drained, or irritable. Plan the phase into your week and take it easy.
- Try to be abstinent when coming down. Also, don’t treat your hangover by using again or using more substances. Substance use aimed at shortening your downtime can lead to unexpected interactions and promote dependence.
- Mephedrone triggers strong cravings for more. Get support if you find the urge to redose hard to bear.
- Avoid performing responsible tasks while under the influence of substances.. Don’t drive a car, and decide which areas of your life you want to stay free from use.
- Mephedrone increases the willingness to intentionally cross boundaries while abstaining from safe sex. This increases the risk of infection with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
- Sex and mephedrone work only when there is mutual consent and trust. When on mephedrone, you may do things you would not normally do. Clarify ahead of time which sex practices are okay with everyone and which are not.
- Sex on mephedrone can be very aggressive with little partner involvement. Consume only so much that you can defend yourself or still recognize the defensive signals of your partner.
- Before getting down to action, have plenty of safer sex tools (condoms or inner condoms, lube, gloves) on hand.
- On mephedrone, the sensation of pain and touch from your dick is usually lowered and it can be harder to cum.
- If fucking lasts longer, change condoms every half hour or consider anotherprotection strategy.. -> Link to Safer Sex 3.0
- Pay attention to your body! If you notice any abnormalities on your dick, front hole or ass, you should see a doctor.
- Get tested for sexually transmitted infections at least once a year and check your hepatitis A/B vaccination status.
- Information on first aid for chemsex emergencies can be found here.
Interactions with HIV treatment
- Currently, little is known about the risks and interactions of mephedrone.
- Take drugs and HIV medications atzdifferent times. This may reduce interactions somewhat.
- Drugs may increase and prolong the effects of substances. Therefore, always take low doses of drugs when taking medications.
- Often a night can last a long time, take enough medication with you and keep to the time you take it. Talk to your doctor about the interactions of your HIV medication with drugs!
- The mode of action of protease inhibitors (Ritonavir (Norvir®/Kaletra®), Cobistat) can lead to dangerous increases of mephedrone in the blood. Be careful as there is a great risk of unintentional overdoses. Similarly, the active level of HIV medications may increase, thereby increasing their side effects.
- Information about the interactions between substances and HIV medications isavailable here..
- Would you like to talk about your use, have questions, or are looking for support about substance use?
- Do you want to share and/or reflect on your substance experiences with someone?
- Feeling that you are using too much?
- Are you worried about friends or acquaintances and want advice or tips on how to cope as a friend*?
- Feeling that you are using too much?
The drug advice services in your area will be happy to help you! You can find the addresses here.