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Mephedrone (Meow Meow)

Mephedrone, also known as meow-meow and M-Cat is a man-made stimulant that comes in the form of powder or crystals, and sometimes as a pill. Often sold as plant food, it is usually dabbed in the mouth or snorted.

White crystalsAlthough it was first synthesised in the 1920s it wasn’t rediscovered until early this century. It has since grown in popularity and was widely available to buy online for a few years, always coming under different names.

Its chemical name is 4-methylmethcathinone, abbreviated to MMCAT, which is how it got the name meow-meow.

Effects of mephedrone

As mephedrone is relatively new to the drug scene there isn’t much information on the effects of using it. In the short-term it has been reported that:

  • it can induce euphoria and energy
  • you can become more alert and talkative, and have trouble sleeping
  • it can cause short-term memory loss and a difficulty with concentration
  • it increases heart rate and blood pressure
  • you can feel more connected to music and people around you
  • it can increase your temperature and cause sweating
  • if snorted it can cause nose-bleeds
  • a hit usually lasts about an hour, and once it wears off you have a strong desire to take more.

There have been cases of people dying after taking mephedrone and as with other drugs it can have negative consequences for people with underlying mental health problems. It also reportedly puts excess strain on your heart, especially if taken with alcohol or other drugs.

It’s worth bearing in mind the manufacturing of mephedrone is unregulated, as with any illegal substance.  As such it’s impossible to know what’s in it and so the effects of what you’re taking may vary drastically.

Mephedrone and the law

For a while mephedrone was easy to access as “plant-food” or “bath-salts”, however it has been illegal in Ireland and much of Europe since 2010.

More information

Narcotics Anonymous – a non-profit fellowship of men and women for whom drugs had become a major problem. They are recovering addicts who meet regularly to help each other stay clean.

Merchants Quay Ireland – provides a range of services for people affected by drug use and the associated problems of HIV infection, crime, homelessness, unemployment and poverty.Visit the website or call 01 5240160.

National Documentation Centre on Drug Use – hosted by the Health Research Board (HRB), provides information and research on drug misuse in Ireland (and internationally).

Drug Treatment Centre Board – the longest established treatment service in Ireland. Call 1 6488600 or email

This article was last reviewed on 03 May 2017

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