Closely linked to amphetamines, mephedrone is a stimulant that delivers similar highs, not dissimilar to cocaine or ecstasy. It comes in off-white, yellowish paper which is usually snorted, but also can be taken in ‘bombs’ and sometimes in a pill form. Mephedrone is most likely the most widely known form of a group of drugs that originally come from ‘cathinone’ – but the two others with quickly growing familiarity are mathedrone and methylone. Both give near enough the same effect as mephedrone, with methylone being described as more similar effects to ecstasy – including developing a sense of empathy. Experiences on the drug differ but users reportedly feel a sense of euphoria and well being, with increased confidence and chattiness. The way in which mephedrone is consumed can be problematic in itself. Sniffing the drug can lead to chronic pain in the nostrils, mouth and throat. Cuts caused by the drug can lead to nosebleeds, which is why most choose to swallow or ‘bomb’ the drug to avoid these complications. There have also been an increasing number of reports of people injecting mephedrone. Injecting anything, especially when sharing needles, greatly increases the risk of viruses spreading, such as Hepatitis C of HIV. In addition, it could cause veins to develop an abscess, or blood clot- and becoming damaged. Further from this, users could potentially develop gangrene. Similar to other stimulants, this particular family of drugs can negatively impact the heart. Reports include: irregular or a fast-paced heartbeat and palpitations. These can last for a long time after taking the drugs. Although many may begin to take it casually, it becomes very hard to stop. Continued used of the drug lead to hallucinations, muscle clenching (involuntary), a psychological dependency and insomnia. As it causes nausea and vomiting, it’s also considered to be an appetite suppressant. Although not specifically proven, mephedrone has been linked to a number of deaths in the media, particularly young people. Other closely related compounds (including 4-BMC, MDEC, MDPV, 4-FMC and buphedrone) are classed under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, meaning that possession of the drugs can lead to a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine, whilst supplying can potentially mean up to 14 years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.