Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Recreational drug users who switch from ecstasy to mephedrone don't understand the dangers


Contrary to popular belief among recreational drug users, mephedrone has several important differences when compared with MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.

These differences mean that mephedrone could leave a user with acute withdrawal symptoms and indicate that it may have a higher potential for developing dependence than MDMA according to a study published in British Journal of Pharmacology.

"Although users report that mephedrone produces similar psychoactive effects to MDMA, these two drugs produce different changes in the brain and the adverse effects they produce, particularly when ingested with other drugs, will therefore be different," says Professor Richard Green, who works at the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham and is a Trustee of the British Pharmacological Society.

In their review of current scientific and medical research, Professor Green and his colleagues concluded that there were only two harmful effects on users associated with MDMA that mephedrone did not replicate: monoamine neurotoxicity in the brain and hyperthermia, both of which can be problems with MDMA.

Reports show that users of mephedrone tend to take repeated doses over a short period. This binge use may induce more severe adverse consequences including the risk that they could become dependent on the drug, say the researchers.

Preclinical studies of mephedrone in laboratory animals indicate a number of reasons why the drug can become more rewarding than MDMA:

• Mephedrone rapidly gets into the brain, so it gives a quick effect. It is then rapidly broken down and cleared. This spike is likely to lead to a range of acute withdrawal symptoms that do not occur with MDMA, which has slower brain penetration, metabolism and clearance.

• The way that mephedrone interacts with neurotransmitter transporters and/or receptors in the brain means that it has a greater stimulant action than MDMA giving the user a highly positive mood, but it does so in a way that will also tend to have a high psychostimulant and abuse liability. While MDMA also produces a positive mood, the way it operates causes less of a psychostimulant effect than mephedrone.

"One of the key messages for medics and drug users is that even though psychostimulant drugs may initially seem similar, the differences in the way they work can be critical," says Green, who published the findings in the British Journal of Pharmacology. "The good news is that the effects seen in animal studies generally reflect the reported changes in humans, which gives us confidence that the warning signals on the relative risks of different drugs from these studies need to be taken seriously."

Evelyn Martinez | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: Green MDMA Recreational acute differences drugs effect hyperthermia mephedrone produce symptoms understand withdrawal

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s
26.11.2015 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht Network analysis shows systemic risk in mineral markets
16.11.2015 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: How do Landslides control the weathering of rocks?

Chemical weathering in mountains depends on the process of erosion.

Chemical weathering of rocks over geological time scales is an important control on the stability of the climate. This weathering is, in turn, highly dependent...

Im Focus: How Cells in the Developing Ear ‘Practice’ Hearing

Before the fluid of the middle ear drains and sound waves penetrate for the first time, the inner ear cells of newborn rodents practice for their big debut. Researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have figured out the molecular chain of events that enables the cells to make “sounds” on their own, essentially “practicing” their ability to process sounds in the world around them.

The researchers, who describe their experiments in the Dec. 3 edition of the journal Cell, show how hair cells in the inner ear can be activated in the absence...

Im Focus: Climate study finds evidence of global shift in the 1980s

Planet Earth experienced a global climate shift in the late 1980s on an unprecedented scale, fuelled by anthropogenic warming and a volcanic eruption, according to new research published this week.

Scientists say that a major step change, or ‘regime shift’, in the Earth’s biophysical systems, from the upper atmosphere to the depths of the ocean and from...

Im Focus: Innovative Photovoltaics – from the Lab to the Façade

Fraunhofer ISE Demonstrates New Cell and Module Technologies on its Outer Building Façade

The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE has installed 70 photovoltaic modules on the outer façade of one of its lab buildings. The modules were...

Im Focus: Lactate for Brain Energy

Nerve cells cover their high energy demand with glucose and lactate. Scientists of the University of Zurich now provide new support for this. They show for the first time in the intact mouse brain evidence for an exchange of lactate between different brain cells. With this study they were able to confirm a 20-year old hypothesis.

In comparison to other organs, the human brain has the highest energy requirements. The supply of energy for nerve cells and the particular role of lactic acid...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

European Geosciences Union meeting: Media registration now open (EGU 2016 media advisory 1)

01.12.2015 | Event News

Urbanisation and migration from rural areas challenging agriculture in Eastern Europe

30.11.2015 | Event News

Fraunhofer’s Urban Futures Conference: 2 days in the city of the future

25.11.2015 | Event News

Latest News

Tracing a path toward neuronal cell death

01.12.2015 | Life Sciences

Researchers grow retinal nerve cells in the lab

01.12.2015 | Life Sciences

Lazy microbes are key for soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration

01.12.2015 | Earth Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>