Mephedrone class drugs

Safety in use

What is mephedrone class drugs?

4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone) is a popular synthetic cathinone which isn’t now legal in the US and other countries. In last years, there has been an increase in the recreational use of synthetic psychoactive substances known as “designer drugs” or “legal highs”. These compounds are synthesized by chemists who study the medical and patent literature to identify structures that target specific neuronal receptors or transporters known to mediate psychoactive effects. Synthetic cathinones are designer drugs with inoffensive names like “bath salts”, “plant food”, or “research chemicals” as a ruse to get round the regulations governing the sale of psychoactive compounds.

Mephedrone class drugs
mephedrone and its analogues

4-Methyl-N-methylcathinone (mephedrone) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) are examples of synthetic cathinones which produce stimulant-like subjective effects at low doses, but have dangerous side effects after high doses or during chronic use. Unfavorable consequences involve hypertension, tachycardia, anxiety, hallucinations, psychosis, and even death.

Legislative authorities have banned mephedrone, MDPV, and certain other synthetic cathinones in the US (Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Department of Justice, 2013), and similar legislation has been enacted in European countries. In response to legislative bans, adventurous chemists have synthesized a lot of “second-generation” replacement analogs as as a tool to skirt regulatory control, and this tendency is expected to continue. Since the legislative ban on mephedrone, a number of “second-generation” mephedrone class drugs have appeared in a street drug marketplaces and darknet marketplaces including 4-methyl-N-ethylcathinone (4-MEC) and 40-methyl-a-pyrrolidinopropiophenone (4-MePPP).

Products containing mephedrone and its analogues

Today, >40 synthetic cathinones are known on the clandestine market and many have a lot of “street names”. Today, multiplicity of synthetic cathinones are available, they are sold under the general names of, for instance, bath salts, plant food, stain removers, insect repellents, glass cleaners, room deodorizers, and are commonly labeled “not for human consumption”. One drug receiving special attention is “bath salts” which, supposedly, included mephedrone, methylenedioxypyrolovalerone (MDPV), and/or methylone (MDMC), a-PVP.

Mephedrone class drugs
mephedrone analogues

Many cathinone analogs, although not referred to as such until the late 1970s, were initially prepared as intermediates in the synthesis of ephedrine analogs. The cathinones do not represent a pharmacologically or mechanistically homogeneous class of agents. Nowadays used synthetic cathinones are obtained from earlier agents and seem to produce their actions mainly via the dopamine, norepinephrine, and/or serotonin transporter; that is, they either release and/or inhibit the reuptake of one or more of these neurotransmitters.

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The actions of these agents can resemble those of central stimulants such as methamphetamine, cocaine, and/or empathogens such as 1-(3,4-methylenedioxyphenyl)-2-aminopropane (MDMA; Ecstasy) and/or produce other effects. Side effects are primarily of a neurological and/or cardiovascular nature.

Mephedrone class drugs
General chemical structure of substituted cathinones, where R1-R4 is hydrogen or any combination of one or more alkyl, alkoxy, alkylenedioxy, haloalkyl, or halide substituents, or inclusion in a cyclic structure.

Khat or qat is a flowering plant local to eastern and southern Africa. Khat contains cathinone, mephedrone analogue and stimulant, which cause excitement, loss of appetite, and euphoria. Among communities from mentioned above areas, khat chewing has a history as a social custom dating back thousands of years analogous to the use of coca leaves in South America and betel nut in Asia.

Mephedrone class drugs

The legal khat status depends on region. In many countries, khat might not be a specifically controlled substance but may however be illegal under more general laws. It is a specifically controlled substance in some countries such as Canada, Germany, the UK and the US. On the contrary, the production, sale, and consumption are legal in the nations where its use is conventional of those cultures, including Djibouti, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. In Israel, which hosts a population of Yemenite Jews, only the consumption of the plant’s leaves in its natural state is permitted.

Some synthetic cathinones are used as remedy: for example, amfepramone (diethylpropion, diethylcathinone) is an anorexigenic; bupropion (wellbutrin, zyban, amphebutamon) – an antidepressant, also used to treat nicotine addiction; pyrovalerone (centroton, timerjix) is used to treat chronic fatigue or drowsiness, and also as an anorexigenic agent.

Who consumes products containing 4-MMC and for what purposes?

Consumers are looking to synthetic cathinones for stimulant effects similar to those of cocaine, MDMA, and other amphetamine-like drugs. The desired effects, according to users of synthetic cathinones, include: increased energy, increased motor activity, the need to move and do something, increased stamina, decreased appetite, the presence of clear thinking, increased voluntary attention, acceleration of speech pace; increase in states of sympathy and openness, decrease in hostility, improvement in mood, euphoria, desire for communication, increased sensory perception, including increased perception of music; increased libido and sexual activity.

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In conclusion, I want to say that synthetic cathinones become popular party drugs. Cathinones are known thousands of years and strongly intertwined with some African and Near east cultures. In spite of their gaining popularity, they still can cause dome hazardous effect on human body. Any cathinone consumer have to take into account information about dosages and consequences before use them.