Mephedrone is a synthetic psychostimulant with high addictive potential. It started spreading among drug addicts about 10 years ago. It is available in the form of “salts”, pills similar to ecstasy. The toxicity of the substance is still being investigated. Its effect is comparable to the effects of cocaine and amphetamine, but addiction is more resistant. Among the consequences of use are noted cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders, as well as deaths. Quitting mephedrone use without medical help is very difficult. Chances of independent recovery from addiction are higher with a short period of addiction.
Effects of mephedrone on the body
Mephedrone is a structural analogue of amphetamine-type compounds. It has a strong euphoric effect and relatively mild stimulating effect. It causes enhanced release of monoamines and catecholamines (serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine) and blocks their reuptake by neurons from presynaptic slots. As a result, the concentration of neurotransmitters of excitation increases, which manifests as an improvement in mood, a sense of euphoria, increased motor and mental activity.
Mephedrone causes strong psychological dependence, because it provokes the rapid increase, and then decrease of dopamine level. The action of the drug lasts for 1-3 hours. The use occurs in the form of “sessions” when the weakening effects are immediately resumed by the introduction of a new portion of mephedrone. This regime is quickly addictive and causes mental and physical dependence.
Loss of control over mephedrone use occurs within 1-2 months. “Sessions lasting 8-12 hours grow into drug “marathons” lasting several days. The longer a person takes the drug the weaker his strength of will becomes. He moves from group use to solitary use. He isolates himself from society and becomes emotionally unbalanced. All his thoughts and behavior concentrate on searching for and taking mephedrone.
The optimal variant for getting rid of addiction is to apply for a complex medical, psychological and social help to specialized institutions. Quitting mephedrone on your own is very difficult, especially with a long history of addiction. To overcome the disease you must detoxify your body, organize your life correctly, change your social circle and purposefully return to your previous socially active life.
The first thing to start fighting addiction is to stop using the drug. Mephedrone withdrawal occurs if you have been addicted for more than 3 months. Symptoms begin to appear within 2-5 hours after the last dose, and gradually stop after 3-5 days.
The main manifestations of mephedrone withdrawal are as follows: increased fatigue, insomnia, impaired concentration, emotional hyperesthesia, nasal congestion, intense tremor, chills, increased temperature to febrile numbers, or its decrease, below physiological parameters, tachycardia, cephalgia with megrain-like sensations, development of depressive symptoms with a pronounced adynamic component, anxiety, transient paranoiac reactions.
In order to successfully survive withdrawal, you need to make sure there is no drug left at home. It is worth asking someone close to you to be around for a few days, as you will need help in taking medications, organizing the daily routine, and performing hygiene procedures. The main task of this stage is to flush the mephedrone out of the body. Accelerating the detoxification will help:
- Drink plenty of fluids (the substance comes out through the kidneys);
- Taking vitamins, especially C, B1, B2, B6, and B12;
- Micronutrient supplementation, especially calcium, potassium, and magnesium;
- If mephedrone was taken orally – gastric lavage, intake of activated charcoal;
- In the absence of heart disease – warm baths, contrast showers;
- Gradual increase in physical activity – from walking to sports training.
Overcoming Psychological Cravings
Addicts’ emotional state and personal qualities change: when they are not intoxicated, irritability and depression prevail, critical assessment of their condition decreases, all areas of life lose importance, and the leading interest is drug use. Depression after mephedrone is the key disorder that causes “breakdowns” (relapses). The structure of mental addiction is dominated by the desire to regain the feeling of euphoria.
Psychologist or psychotherapist is the best way to cope with mental addiction. If you decide to fight the problem by your own efforts, it is necessary to form a firm intention to quit using drugs. It is important to organize your surroundings and daily routine correctly so that your efforts will not be in vain:
- A change in the social environment. You need to stop all contact with drug dealers and addicts, even if you have many friends among them. The best option is to change your place of residence, refuse to use the Internet as a way to find mephedrone, communicate with people who do not take drugs.
- Fun activities. Since there are no psychotherapy sessions, they must be replaced by activities that improve your mood, distract your attention from the thoughts about drugs and help you to create new goals in life, a new image of yourself. For example, doing sports speeds up the removal of mephedrone residues, improves your health and physical form, increases your self-confidence and helps you make new friends.
- Self-help groups. People who have successfully overcome drug addiction and are in prolonged remission can be your therapist. It is possible to receive support and advice at meetings of support groups and through Internet forums. Communities acting on the basis of the 12-step program.
It is important for addicts not only to recover physically from mephedrone, but also to return to a healthy social activity – to resume studies or professional activities, to restore relationships with family members, colleagues, friends (who do not take drugs). For many people who have recently overcome addiction, financial problems come to the forefront. During the social rehabilitation stage, it is worth looking for a job, re-establishing former professional relationships, and spending more time with your family. Employment assistance is provided by social assistance centers and drug rehabilitation centers.
To quickly recover from mephedrone on your own, you need to speed up the process of cleansing your body: drink as much liquid as possible, take regular showers and warm baths, and engage in physical activity. To normalize the biochemical processes, you need to take vitamins and micronutrients. To get rid of mental addiction will help to change the circle of communication and the environment, an interest in an interesting occupation, appeal for help to a support group of addicts. Recovery from mephedrone may require medical help if there are cardiovascular, neurological or other complications.