Mephedrone, also known as 4-methylmethcathinone, 4-MMC, and 4-methylephedrone, is a synthetic stimulant drug of the amphetamine and cathinone classes. Slang names include drone, M-CAT, White Magic, and meow meow. It is chemically similar to the cathinone compounds found in the khat plant of eastern Africa. It comes in the form of tablets or a powder, which users can swallow, snort or inject, producing effects similar to those of MDMA, amphetamines and cocaine.
Recreational users have reported that mephedrone causes euphoria, stimulation, an enhanced appreciation for music, an elevated mood, decreased hostility, improved mental function and mild sexual stimulation; these effects are similar to the effects of cocaine, amphetamines and MDMA, and last different amounts of time depending on the way the drug is taken.
Mephedrone was first synthesised in 1929, but did not become widely known until it was rediscovered in 1999/2000 at which point it was legal to produce and possess in many countries. By 2000, mephedrone was reported to be available for sale on the internet, by 2008 law enforcement agencies had become aware of the compound, and by 2010, it had been reported in most of Europe, becoming particularly prevalent in the United Kingdom.
In Australia, New Zealand and the United States, it is considered an analog of other illegal drugs and can be controlled by laws similar to the US Federal Analog Act. In September 2011, the US temporarily classified mephedrone as a Schedule I drug, effective October 2011. This classification was made permanent in July 2012 with the passage of the Synthetic Drug Abuse Prevention Act (SDAPA).