Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) — also known as MCAT and drone — is a powerful stimulant of the cathinone class. It’s that beautiful baby MDMA and cocaine would have together I mentioned earlier. While a constituent of “bath salts,” it’s better known in Europe as “plant food” and was readily available online.

Mephedrone’s strong stimulation and high decay rate from your fun receptors in your brain mean that it is habit forming and has the potential to redose. Bingeing more than 0.5 grams a night will make for a very uncomfortable next morning. Overdosing, while not fatal if consumed alone by a healthy person, will mean the hospital will give you a bed for six hours, give you a dollar’s worth of IV benzos, and then a thousand dollar per hour bill.

Chemically, mephedrone is a synthetic cathinone and an analogue of methcathinone, cathinone being the active ingredient in the East African khat leaves.

Khat is chewed by locals there very similarly to how South Americans will chew Coca leaves. However, unlike cocaine which comes from processing the coca leaves, mephedrone doesn’t come from purifying khat — it’s wholly synthetic. Cathinone is very similar in structure to amphetamine which explains its very similar stimulating effects.

Compared to MDMA, it’s not as strong on the love and music-appreciation component and completely lacks the visuals. However, it more than makes up for it in its powerful euphoria. Cocaine’s short duration of action is nothing compared to mephedrone’s 3-4 hours. Cocaine’s self-confidence and intense stimulation borders on the delusional “I CAN CONQUER THE FUCKING WORLD! NOW FUCK ME!” Mephedrone’s self-confidence is based on the huggy MDMA side, the “I FULLY UNDERSTAND AND ACCEPT YOU DESPITE ALL YOUR FLAWS! LET’S MAKE LOVE!”

Doses can start at just 80mg for an effect, but average doses are 150mg to 250mg. That makes it possible to even weigh on a cheap calibrated milligram scale rather accurately. If you’re doing this for the first time, go big or go home. You’ll never have another mephedrone virginity, so make it spectacular. Snort 150mg of the stuff and after 15-20min eat 150mg. The high isn’t as intense as snorting all of it and you’ll experience more stomach irritation. This means that as the stuff that’s snorted is beginning to drop off, the stuff you ate will start hitting you, lengthening the high. Those of you familiar with MDMA, Ecstasy, Molly, E, X, Xizek, whatever the fuck you kids are calling it these days — it’s all methylenedioxymethamphetamine — will notice this parallels MDMA virginity. It is never the same.

When it was legal, mephedrone was cheap and easily obtained online. Coming from labs in China and Eastern Europe at greater than 98% purity it showed up as either extremely pure white crystals or white grainy powder that did not stick to itself. It was also put into capsules or pressed into pills at head shops and in the hands of dealers at clubs. People have reported that it smells like everything from urine to powdered milk. I always thought it had a slight fishy odor on top of industrial solvent, likely a byproduct of using bromine in its synthesis. If you plan on snorting it, crush up the crystals as thoroughly as possible to increase surface area. Mephedrone will burn hard in the first 30 seconds. Having large crystal chunks certainly won’t help with the pain or increasing bioavailability.

It rapidly became the 4th best selling drug in Britain, probably because cocaine purity was barely 25% and virtually no MDMA was in the country. It didn’t take long for the UK fuzz to ban the latest thing the kids liked. The EU, the US and eventually China followed up with their own bans. Nowadays mephedrone is subject to the same contamination that MDPV and MDMA suffer from. Especially when pressed into pills or put into capsules, the mix could be anything including other synthetic cathinones, cocaine analogues (inactive or otherwise), DMAA (the killer of bodybuilders) or caffeine. This is a story familiar to anyone buying any drug. Thanks, Obameron and your pet Alan Johnson, you Tory scum.

Everything that’s fun to do is now extra fun. There are no tracers or other visual effects so you won’t be waving around glowsticks. However, the music will flow into your bones, movies will be much more entertaining, everything will feel great to touch. You can think a mile a minute and you can talk to anyone. Even better, you feel like you can understand everyone. There will also be transient sensations that you will have to pee, nausea, hot and cold flashes — you can ignore these. Don’t try to move too much during the first 20 minutes. To deal with the rapid temperature changes, I recommend an air conditioner, a blanket and someone attractive on hand.

My first time quickly went from touching things, talking easily about our lives, and loving the music, to touching my friend, taking our clothes off to bask in my air conditioner, and to touching her. The sensation of touching another human being was nearly an orgasm on its own. Mephedrone can cause erectile dysfunction and vaginal dryness, but God invented oral sex for a reason. We shall overcome.

The most visible side effect is the pupil dilation that mephedrone causes. If you snort a lot of drugs, mephedrone may lead to nosebleeds. Other MDMA-like effects of being understanding and caring — properties wholly unknown to Americans — will also be evident. Like amphetamine, you will lose the desire for food and water which contributes to the nausea and headache. Keep a water bottle around and drink regularly. Plan either for a hearty meal beforehand, or a snack during.

Sleep will be difficult and the side effects of teeth grinding and vasoconstriction can lead to discomfort. If you’re a frequent stimulant user, you should see a dentist about getting a nightguard fitted so you don’t grind your teeth to dust in your sleep. Forced drowsiness can come via any number of depressants but use much smaller doses than normal. When mephedrone wears off your body will overcompensate and it will compound the effects of any depressant. Vasoconstriction can be severe in overdoses. As my thieving ex found out, the next few days will be a constant panic attack with blue fingertips. Urine tests for synthetic cathinones are now common so avoid if you’re in a regularly drug tested field.

The comedown can be a very introspective time. If you brought some friends with you, it’s the time to have a significant conversation. You’ll get deep into issues that you didn’t even know you had. My boyfriend is a controlling asshole who makes me do everything, but that’s how my father was. I thought that was what love is, but I deserve so much better. And your girlfriend is still an impulsive druggie teenager. I know you miss your “glory years,” but you’re still so young. You can find someone your age. Eventually a crash will come, and being by a bed is great. You flop back, and with your body still tingling, you fall asleep. A mild hangover will follow the next day and no doubt your mouth will be bone dry.

Have fun; try not to die.