What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
5 views
5 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
48 views
48 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
92 views
92 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
79 views
79 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
110 views
110 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
146 views
146 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
111 views
111 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
247 views
247 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
189 views
189 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
201 views
201 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
231 views
231 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018
178 Views

Racking up the truth on Mephedrone

Mephedrone has become a popular choice amongst clubbers and students due in part to its easy availability and media exposure. (Photo: thephoenix.com)

For those of you familiar with the programme “Brass Eye”, the current media portrayal of Mephedrone can seem absurdly similar to the fictitious drug ‘Cake’.  If you are misfortunate enough to remain unaware of this great series, it was one which very successfully satirised the media’s depiction of various social ills including drug use, and made fun of the sensationalism and moral panic we have become accustomed to in today’s newspapers and documentaries.  How much of what we read can we truly believe?

Mephedrone is one of many ‘legal highs’ which can be bought legitimately through companies over the internet, collected in person or even delivered.  The main difference between this and illegal drugs is that rather than meeting with drug dealers in alleyways or side streets the weekend’s entertainment arrives by Royal Mail.  Perhaps more bizarrely, it can be collected in person from a central London location whereby, having filled out the requisite form, the buyer is presented with their drugs and an After-Eight mint to see them on their way.  If a person looks to be under the age of eighteen and cannot provide proof of age, they are turned away.

The reason it can be sold in this way is that it is such a new drug and has largely caught the authorities unaware.  Despite this, a recent Mixmag survey placed it as being the fourth most commonly used drug by clubbers.  It is described as being an analogue of methcathinone, itself an analogue of methamphetamine meaning that it is chemically similar without being the same substance. As such it is not a controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.  Similarly, as it is most commonly sold as ‘plant food’ and ‘not for human consumption’ it can avoid any legal difficulties with the Medicines Act 1968.

With reports from the ‘The Sun’ that “legal drug teen ripped his scrotum off” it seems surprising that the drug could ever become a drug of choice for so many users.  However, for a generation that has tired of the scare mongering surrounding drugs, stories such as this are often met with derision.  Indeed, ‘The Guardian’ has reported that “the key side effect of the Mephedrone scare has been a spike in sales”.  This is hardly a surprising conclusion when considering that it is described by the same paper as having “the same effect as ecstasy and cocaine” whilst also highlighting the relatively low price commanded for the substance.  Mainstream media sources are motivated by profit and naturally alarming stories of teens tearing their genitals sell newspapers.  This results in unbalanced, sensational stories which do little to enable people to make sensible decisions about the substances they ingest.

Unfortunately there has been little or no research into Mephedrone as of yet and so it is almost impossible to ascertain exactly how much we should believe from the various media sources.  Professor David Nutt, former chair of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs has stated that “these chemicals have never been put into animals, let alone humans” and suggests that people are “better off taking ecstasy or amphetamines”.  The only information available is supplied on internet forums by the users themselves who report their own experiences.  A frequent comment is the “moreishness” of the drug, a term which has become a useful euphemism for the compulsive desire to re-dose.  For low-income users of cocaine this feeling is familiar but is overcome by the lack of financial power to continue using the drug in this way.  The affordability of Mephedrone means that users can frequently re-dose over a period of days.  Being a stimulant, this places huge pressure on the heart and can lead to the formation of severe medical problems. There have already been instances of people requiring emergency medical treatment following use of this drug.

Other problems include vasoconstriction which occurs when the blood vessels narrow, which increases blood pressure.  This typically leads to a numbness of the hands or feet and often a bluish tinge to the skin.  Users have reported being unable to move one of their feet or of feeling extremely (and unnaturally) cold having used the substance.  Perhaps of more concern is damage to the brain, especially when we still know so little about how it works.  Due to the compulsive nature of the drug heavier users often binge in excess of three days without sleep and so creating a worrying picture whereby serious mental health problems can develop for the remainder of someone’s life.  As an extremely new product the longer term effects are only just beginning to materialise although at the Royal College of Psychiatrist’s Faculty of Addictions conference reports have emerged of users developing psychosis.

Whilst the media are in part to blame for the sudden escalation in use of Mephedrone, it is instead recent successes in the ‘War on Drugs’ that have been the largest contributor.  Regardless of the media intervention, the use of legal substances such as Mephedrone was already increasing as drug users became disenchanted with low quality ecstasy and cocaine.  The recent drought in the ecstasy market also assisted considerably as drug using party goers have been forced to look to alternative substances.

The current situation is ludicrous as people are moving from substances of which they have informed knowledge of the short and long-term side effects and into the hands of a new substance with a high addiction potential and one which may cause severe physical and psychological damage.  The relentless progress of science can only result in the proliferation of “analogues” of illegal drugs as dealers recognise the benefits of huge profit margins without the risk of incarceration.  The recent ‘successes’ claimed in the war on drugs are exposed for the fallacy that they really are.  Perhaps the most appropriate way to sum up the current position for the government is a quote from the late Bill Hicks; “We are losing the war against drugs. You know what that implies? There’s a war being fought, and the people on drugs are winning it”.  Surely it is now time for a change in failing drugs policy?

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam
What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
5 views
5 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018
Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
48 views
48 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018
University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
92 views
92 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018
Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
79 views
79 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018
Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
110 views
110 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018
In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
146 views
146 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018
Brighton Needs You!
News
111 views
111 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018
Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
247 views
247 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018
France in Fine Fettle
Sports
189 views
189 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
201 views
201 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018
Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
231 views
231 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018
Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018
Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
2 views
2 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018
Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
37 views
37 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
5 views
Arts
5 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
48 views
Arts
48 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
48 views
Film & Theatre
48 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
75 views
Arts
75 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
72 views
Campus News
72 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
108 views
News
108 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
92 views
Arts
92 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
79 views
Interview
79 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
108 views
Lifestyle
108 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Lifestyle
110 views
Lifestyle
110 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
146 views
Arts
146 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
111 views
News
111 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
247 views
Arts
247 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
180 views
Film & Theatre
180 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
189 views
Sports
189 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
201 views
Arts
201 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
231 views
Arts
231 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1290 views1
Campus News
1290 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes
National News
National News

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Resumes

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

Written by Danielle Ball Shocking witness statements have been heard from the fire crew and call handlers involved in the response to the tragedy The Grenfell Tower…

Renting Unaffordable for Young People
National News
2 views
National News
2 views

Renting Unaffordable for Young People

Jessica Hubbard - October 16, 2018

South East among the most expensive areas to rent as revealed by BBC research. Research carried out by The BBC has found that renting is unaffordable for…

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns
Music
37 views
Music
37 views

Joe Armon-Jones Brings Jazz to Patterns

Lara Antoine - October 13, 2018

Photo by Vojta Dvrocek Whether you’ve seen him in Ezra Collective or featuring alongside other breakthrough neo-jazz artists like Mr Jukes. Pianist Joe Armon-Jones is no stranger…

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur
Arts
48 views
Arts
48 views

“Climax” review – The return of the French provocateur

Olek Młyński - October 11, 2018

The newest film from the notorious Gaspar Noé was so critically acclaimed at the Cannes Film Festival that the director himself could not believe it. Climax opens…

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100
Music
91 views
Music
91 views

Kode9 & Burial – Fabriclive 100

Ryan Bridgewater - October 5, 2018

Released 28th September Available on: CD/Vinyl/Download   The anticipation couldn’t have been greater when the final instalment in London nightclub Fabric’s legendary DJ mix series was announced…

News
68 views

Maniac: a madcap adventure into troubled minds

Olek Młyński - October 5, 2018

With the release of Maniac, Netflix once again proves itself as an artistic powerhouse. This mini-series is a whirlwind of creativity containing often confusing, madcap ideas. But,…

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign
Sports
68 views
Sports
68 views

Nike cash in on Kaepernick campaign

James Cohen - October 4, 2018

In 1988 Nike premiered their, now infamous, “Just Do It” campaign, showing 80-year-old Walt Stack jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge. 30 years and a lot of…

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future
Science
107 views
Science
107 views

Machine Learning for an Efficient Future

ecrm20 - October 4, 2018

My project is about how we can explain the predictions made by machine learning algorithms. For example, if we have an algorithm that tells us whether an…

Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar Due to Close
Music
119 views
Music
119 views

Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar Due to Close

Dan Miller - October 4, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35890" align="alignnone" width="4544"] Photo by Lara Antoine[/caption]   The surprising news was released via the venue’s Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon, announcing:    "There are far too many…

Where did you Come from Where did you Escargot?  Martlets Snailway appears in Brighton and Hove
News
99 views
News
99 views

Where did you Come from Where did you Escargot? Martlets Snailway appears in Brighton and Hove

Jessica Hubbard - October 3, 2018

Colourful Snail statues have appeared across Brighton and Hove. The Snails are part of an art trail turned fundraising initiative by Martlets, a hospice and charity. Fifteen of…