Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

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

Date:
March 25, 2014
Source:
Wiley
Summary:
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.

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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A R Green, M V King, S E Shortall, K C F Fone. The preclinical pharmacology of mephedrone; not just MDMA by another name. British Journal of Pharmacology, 2014; DOI: 10.1111/bph.12628

Cite This Page:

Wiley. "Recreational drug users who switch from ecstasy to mephedrone don't understand dangers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325095828.htm>.
Wiley. (2014, March 25). Recreational drug users who switch from ecstasy to mephedrone don't understand dangers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325095828.htm
Wiley. "Recreational drug users who switch from ecstasy to mephedrone don't understand dangers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140325095828.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins