Danger of legal high ‘meow meow’ highlighted by new drug chief
Monday, February 8th, 2010
The Government’s mew drugs advisor has warned young people of the dangers associated with a legal high mephedrone.
Professor Les Iversen said that the soaring popularity of the drug, which is often referred to as “meow meow”, was “quite scary”.
The newly appointed chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) said that the ACMD would begin collecting evidence about mephedrone in order to determine whether the drug should be controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Mephedrone has a similar effect to Ecstasy or cocaine and comes in a powder and tablet format; it can be snorted or dissolved. Side effects of the drug include nose bleeds, burns, palpitations, insomnia and memory problems.
Professor Iversen said: “There are waves of fashion. Cannabis is going out of fashion, whereas legal highs are attractive. The problem with legal highs is they seem to crop up with increasing frequency. It has become a very lucrative business. The one we have our sights on at the moment is mephedrone which six months ago, hardly anybody was talking about.”
The internet has played a huge role in spreading mephedrone and other legal highs as young children are able to buy legal highs relatively easily and take it feely.
Professor Les Iversen succeeds Professor Nutt who was dismissed over his claim that alcohol and tobacco were more harmful than drugs including LSD, Ecstasy and cannabis. Professor Nutt had previously clashed with the former Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, after stating that horse riding was more dangerous than Ecstasy.
Professor Iversen admitted that he had supported legalising cannabis some years ago but had changed his mind in the light of evidence about new more potent forms.