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J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2012 Oct;32(5):710-4. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e318266c70c.

Suspected and confirmed fatalities associated with mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone, "meow meow") in the United Kingdom.

Author information

  • 1School of Pharmacy, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK. F.Schifano@herts.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

International media have been reporting about fatalities allegedly related to mephedrone, a popular recreational stimulant, but now a proportion of them have been confirmed. We aimed here at analyzing information relating to the circumstances of mephedrone-related deaths in the United Kingdom.

METHODS:

Descriptive analysis of information was mainly extracted from the UK National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths database. With an average annual response rate of 95%, UK National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths receives information from coroners on drug-related deaths among both addicts and nonaddicts in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

RESULTS:

So far, 128 alleged mephedrone-associated fatalities have been reported; mephedrone was identified at postmortem in 90 cases; inquests have been concluded in 69 cases, 62 of which are analyzed here. Typical mephedrone victims were young (mean age, 28.8 years), male, and with a previous history of drug misuse. There was a notable number (18 cases [29%], 11 being from hanging) of deaths involving self-harm. Mephedrone alone was identified at postmortem on 8 occasions (13% of the inquests' sample).

CONCLUSIONS:

Present mortality data may suggest a significant level of caution when ingesting mephedrone. Limitations include an inability to determine the exact extent of risks associated with mephedrone consumption.

PMID:
22926609
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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