a bag of mephedrone at a party

Synthetic cathinones, popularly known as bath salts, are drugs that produce effects similar to amphetamines, cocaine, and ecstasy. At their peak, bath salts were responsible for approximately 23,000 emergency room visits in a single year. (1)

Here we take a look at mephedrone abuse and addiction, which is one of the most popular synthetic cathinones.

What is mephedrone?

Mephedrone is a designer drug that belongs to the class of drug known as synthetic A human brain with some random colors cathinones that produce central nervous system stimulation and hallucinations in users. Cathinones are also commonly referred to as bath salts.

Cathinones are amphetamine analogs that are naturally occurring in certain plants.

Synthetic cathinones are derivatives of these compounds, which for a period of time were legal.

Despite mephedrone being made illegal in recent years, its abuse still remains popular. Mephedrone has developed many street names, such as meow meow, meph, MCAT, and M-smack. (2)

Mephedrone effects

Mephedrone prduces effects fairly rapidly that last around one hour. The effects of mephedrone typically include the following (3):

  • Extreme paranoia
  • Auditory and visual hallucinations
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased sex drive
  • Excited delirium
  • Extreme agitation and violent behavior
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme drug craving

Is mephedrone dangerous?

Mephedrone abuse is incredibly dangerous, and has been directly responsible for drug overdose deaths.

A 2011 study of four different deaths related to mephedrone found that the drug caused death in various ways, such as cardiovascular death, drug combination death, and death from reckless driving while high on the drug. (4)

Is mephedrone addictive?

Mephedrone has been shown to cause addiction in those who frequently use it. Tolerance to mephedrone’s effects occurs fairly rapidly, meaning the user will need to take more of the drug to achieve the same effects.

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Mephedrone abuse also can produce dependence on the drug, meaning the user will experience a withdrawal syndrome if they suddenly stop taking the medication.

Mephedrone withdrawal typically involves the following symptoms (5):

  • Drug craving
  • Anxiety
  • Tremors
  • Sleeping difficulties
  • Paranoia
  • Tiredness
  • Irritability

Final Note

This article is intended for those considering a new way of life, free of the pain of drug and alcohol addiction. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783,  or visit us online.


  1. https://nabp.pharmacy/bath-salts-linked-to-nearly-23000-emergency-room-visits-in-2011/
  2. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/mephedrone.pdf
  3. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/synthetic-cathinones-bath-salts#ref
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21439157
  5. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1360-0443.2011.03502.x