Mephedrone use is continuing despite the change in legislation

Mephedrone (also known as 4-methylmethcathinone) was classified under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act on 16 April 2010 as a Class B drug.

A recent study by Kings College London and published The Lancet1, found that despite the change in legislation, mephedrone use is continuing, although how it is being purchased has changed.

The study carried out an online survey of 150 users in June 2010, which was compared to a similar survey in November 2009 and telephone interviews carried out before the change in legislation.

  • 63% of respondents had continued to use mephedrone.
    • 55% of these intended to use the same amount.
    • 40% reported that they would use less.
  • 57% of respondents had purchased mephedrone from a dealer, an increase of almost 40% when compared to the telephone interviews.
  • The average price was £16 per gram. Before the legislation, when the drug was available online, the mean price was £10.

The results from samples sent to our laboratories also show that it is still being used, with 1 in 7 samples tested for mephedrone testing positive for the drug. Get further details about mephedrone testing.

In October, the National Poisons Information Service (NPIS) released its 2009-10 annual report. They received 4,500 online and 292 telephone enquiries from healthcare professionals relating to mephedrone over the 12 month period – up from none in 2008-09 – making it the most common recreational drug to feature in telephone enquiries.

1 Winstock et al (2010). “Mephedrone:still available and twice the price” Lancet 9752: 1537

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