Today Ravelrie, Stay Safe Seattle & NY DanceSafe are talking Mephedrone & the modern era of drug confusion. After hearing people confuse mephedrone & methadone for the hundredth time, we decided to parse some bullshit & get the info out to everyone who is looking real dumb at parties talking about the wrong drug. The easiest way to remember the difference between the two is to look at the end of the word. MethaDONE is for trying to quit heroin or pain killers, while MepheDRONE is the first gen bath salt rumored to turn you into a mindless crazy person. So, think “DONE” for “done with opiates” & DRONE for “face eating zombie.” More specifically, Mephedrone is the thing your mom got terrified you were doing after the tragic/morbidly hilarious face eating incident in Miami. While it was later proven that the guy didn’t actually have any “bath salts” in his system, the moniker stuck and now we’ve got terrible rumors of how bath salts turn into cannibals. The substance was stupendously popular in the UK from 2010/2011, with an almost total drop off from 2012/2013 on. One note, the only reason they’re called “bath salts” is because labeling them as “not for human consumption” is what allowed headshops to sell these drugs “over the counter” because they were going to be used as incense, not ground up & snorted. For more information on this legal, then terrifying, then banned, then internationally scheduled substance, The Guardian has a fantastic timeline/information vault about the drug.
Mephedrone is a great example of how a substance using population will react to changing conditions on the ground. As the purity of MDMA weakened in the late 00’s/early 10’s in the UK, more and more people switched to legal highs such as Mephedrone. So many did, that an entire ad campaign reminding people they were new psychedelic substances (NPS) was launched, including the first image in this post & others like it. As the purity of MDMA climbed back into acceptable ranges, fewer & fewer people were willing to keep beta testing the drug with their bodies. While the international community finally got around to scheduling the drug this month, some of us asked a. What took them so long, and b. Why now? The drug isn’t cool/used heavily anymore, so what’s the point?
Methadone is the standard treatment opiate (heroin, morphine, Vicodin, etc) users receive, usually after they’ve been processed by the mental health, substance abuse or law enforcement systems. Methadone essentially just replaces heroin with a drug that prevents physical withdrawal, but does nothing for the user, from a mood, pain-killing or recreational perspective. A long-winded explanation of why Methadone is the worst way to treat opiate addiction is beyond the scope of this post, as you’re already getting bored reading this I wager. But for a great write-up of what the process looks like, especially in poor areas of the world, read this VICE report from Saskatchewan, and not the nice part. This is one of the many ground zeros for drugs, crime & gang violence in the world, with heroin & methadone intertwined deeply.
Now that you know the difference, use #meowFF to join the chat this afternoon, 4:30pm EST, 1:30pm PST on Twitter!