Mephedrone is a psychoactive drug that temporarily enhances mental and physical function. Specifically, it’s a synthetic stimulant that’s also known as 4-methyl methcathinone (4-MMC), 4-methylephedrine, white magic, MKAT, and MCAT, but should not be confused with methadone, which is an opioid. Mephedrone is made up of amphetamine and cathinone classes and is chemically similar to the cathinone compounds found in the khat plant native to eastern Africa. Due to mephedrone’s high potential for abuse and the growing rate of mephedrone use in the U.S., we’re sharing common mephedrone addiction symptoms so you can recognize and get treatment for this issue as soon as you recognize it.
How Mephedrone Works
Mephedrone has similar properties to stimulant drugs and also acts as empathogens or entactogens stimulants, allowing the drug to produce similar side effects to those of ecstasy. Common MCAT effects include increased sociability, friendliness, talkativeness, and empathy.
Mephedrone is often confused with other drugs that have similar names, such as methadone, but it’s an entirely different substance from a different drug class. Mephedrone is very similar to bath salts, which are drugs that are derived from cathinones found in the leaves of the khat plant.
MCAT is frequently classified as one of the many synthetic cathinones (man-made substances that mimic naturally occurring cathinones). As a stimulant, mephedrone activates the release of chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine to produce an alerting, energetic, and empathetic high.
Mephedrone is currently categorized in the class of drugs called New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), which are a range of substances that have been designed to mimic the side effects of established illicit drugs, such as methamphetamine or cocaine.
Mephedrone comes in different forms, including a white powder with a yellowish tinge, crystal or rock-like forms, capsules, and pills. Due to its many forms, there are also different ways to take mephedrone, such as sniffing, swallowing, snorting, mixing it into a liquid to drink, and wrapping it in cigarette paper to be smoked (known as “bombing.”)
MCAT Addiction Signs and Symptoms
Because there are no recognized medical uses for MCAT, using it is considered a form of drug abuse. Mephedrone can only be obtained illegally and used recreationally, and usually, the sole intent of users is to experience a high.
A mephedrone high may include a rush of pleasure and euphoria at first, but eventually, it can lead to side effects like muscle tension, anxiety, paranoia, and more. Because MCAT produces psychoactive effects, certain MKAT symptoms of abuse will be more evident than others.
Some physical mephedrone addiction symptoms include:
- Appearing excessively content or happy (a sign of euphoria)
- Being excessively affectionate
- Being excessively concerned with the feelings of others
- Dilated pupils
- Speaking very rapidly or appearing to have rapid thoughts (caused by the drug’s stimulant effects)
- Increased energy
- Hyperactivity or being jittery
- Clenching of the teeth
- Inability to focus on one thing or to concentrate
- Easily distractible
- Difficulty breathing
- Shaking or vibrating vision
- Becoming overheated rather easily
- Significantly reduced appetite
- Periods where the person cannot sleep followed by periods of extreme lethargy
- Fast or irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack
Some psychological mephedrone addiction signs include:
- Uncharacteristic isolation from others
- Being uncharacteristically secretive, such as disappearing for long periods
- Increased issues with anxiety
- Accelerated perception of time
- Impulsive behavior
- Issues with attention, memory, and problem-solving abilities
- Extremely inflated sense of self-esteem or accomplishment
- Out-of-body experiences
- Alternating periods of euphoria or contentment with periods of depression and apathy
- Suicidal thoughts
- Extreme suspiciousness and paranoia
- Hallucinations, usually visual or auditory
- Aggressiveness or violent behavior
It’s also common for people to develop physical dependence with chronic abuse of mephedrone. If the individual exhibits intermittent periods of extreme energy, sociability, friendliness, and even psychosis followed by withdrawal symptoms, they’ve likely developed a severe addiction to mephedrone.
Common mephedrone withdrawals include:
- Frequently feeling lethargic
- Increased need for sleep
- Increased appetite
- Apathy and depression
- Vivid dreams
- Cravings for mephedrone
Help for Mephedrone Addiction
Someone who’s addicted to MCAT would most likely be diagnosed with a stimulant use disorder and would therefore require the assistance of a drug addiction treatment center. Banyan Treatment Centers offers various nationwide drug and alcohol treatment programs in different locations.
Our services stretch from Massachusetts to California, helping people in hundreds of communities find sobriety. Our levels of care for substance abuse treatment have helped people with all types of addictions, including stimulant addiction.
If you or someone you care about has developed a drug or alcohol problem, one of our Banyan rehab locations can help. Call us today at 888-280-4763 to learn which location and treatment program is right for you.
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