Similarities of action
Mephedrone was synthesized in 2007, so its effects on the body are still being studied. It is distributed under the slang names “MEPH”, “meow-meow” and so on. Its chemical structure is that of a substituted amphetamine, but it has a less pronounced stimulant effect. So what should you choose to use MDMA or mephedrone? Which is more harmful? What is the difference in effects? The mechanism of action is associated with blockade of serotonin reuptake, which leads to increased concentration of the neurotransmitter in the brain. At the same time, the synthesis of monoamine oxidase and some enzymes is disrupted, so the concentration of the catecholamines adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine increases.
Mephedrone, like MDMA, is consumed orally as pills or intranasally. This requires a smaller dosage of the narcotic substance. The positive effects for which mephedrone is used may include the following:
- Stimulation of mental and physical activity
- Feeling of euphoria
- Mood enhancement
- Empathy, openness to others
- Improved ability to communicate
Like other psychoactive substances, mephedrone alters consciousness. There may be unusual sensations in the body that resemble cognition, the appearance of goose bumps, and a desire to move – all this is what MDMA and mephedrone have in common. Mephedrone is characterized by:
- Increase in body temperature
- Rapid heartbeat
- Increase in blood pressure
- Loss of appetite
- Impaired short-term memory
Despite a similar mechanism of action, mephedrone has effects that differentiate it from MDMA. The increased need for love when using ecstasy, the desire to cuddle and socialize with others does not affect the sex drive or increase libido. Sexual intercourse after MDMA use is not different in sharpness, but may last longer than usual. Some users combine the drug with Viagra to achieve new sensations. When mephedrone is used, there is an increase in sexual activity. Additional stimulation in the form of Viagra is not required because the drug does not reduce the quality of sensation during sexual intercourse.
The effect of mephedrone on the body is not always predictable. Unlike MDMA, which in its pure form does not cause hallucinations, mephedrone can produce visual and auditory images after a single use. After intravenous or intranasal injection, acute psychosis may develop.
Eye condition can be used to determine which drug a person has used. Ecstasy is characterized by dilated pupils, while after mephedrone there is observed nystagmus – combined involuntary twitching of the eyeballs, a pronounced dilation of the pupils.
Within 3-5 days after the use mephedrone urine and sweat has a sharp unpleasant smell comparable to cat feces. Consequences of use manifest themselves after a few days in the form of severe depression.
Which is more harmful – MDMA or mephedrone?
The empathogenic drugs are positioned as safe and non-addictive. Studies show that MDMA, when used rarely, does not cause physical dependence, and withdrawal from it does not result in pronounced withdrawal.
When used rarely, mephedrone does not cause serious consequences, but there is a mood swelling and apathy for a few days. A tolerance to the standard dose gradually develops. This is why it is increased rapidly in order to obtain similar sensations. This leads to mental and physical dependence, the appearance of side effects:
- Serotonin syndrome and severe depression
- Delusional disorders
- Panic attacks
- Toxic heart disease
Nasal bleeding often occurs with intranasal use. Bleeding of the mucous membrane of the mouth may be of concern. Mephedrone affects the metabolism of calcium and potassium, so there are signs of osteoporosis, dental condition suffers, nails become brittle.
When MDMA is used without additional psychoactive substances, the mental and health effects are less pronounced. But there are also consequences of serotonin deficiency, which leads to depression. Fatal cases of ecstasy overdose are rare, and lethal consequences have been reported among mephedrone users.
Switching to MDMA after mephedrone to reduce the risks is ineffective and dangerous to your health. It is impossible to achieve euphoria because both substances interfere with serotonin metabolism and lead to depletion of serotonin reserves. Only complete drug withdrawal, detoxification, and work with a psychotherapist can help.
MDMA and mephedrone are synthetic drugs, but with the use of mephedrone addiction develops quickly and is difficult to treat. The euphoria of acute drug intoxication is replaced by apathy and a depressive disorder. The danger of using mephedrone is in the possibility of hallucinations and delirium, which is not typical for MDMA without admixtures. In both cases, there is a possibility of suicide in a state of withdrawal. Therefore, people who use drugs need early help from a narcologist.