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 August 23, 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 August 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
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