Reported purity levels of many drugs sold in clubs in the UK as Ecstacy and Cocaine are as low as 2% active drug.
Young users are suspected of switching to legal high drugs like Mephedrone, as they are perceived as safer, purer and better value.
Unfortunately the risks of Mephedrone are now being documented. Particularly of concern is very young users experimenting in unsafe environments such as parks, cemeteries etc, often in combination with alcohol Most are snorting (mephedrone is unpleasant to snort~ stinging) It can also be swallowed or smoked
Reported risks & side effects of Mephedrone include behaviour changes including paranoia, aggression and anxiety, some suspicions of dependency are developing with a recognisable withdrawl picture emerging.
The research backing up the professional and legal approach to these compounds is left playing catch up. There are estimated to be over 240 compounds being promoted as legal highs, with little data available on the pharmacology or even lists of the active constituents of the majority being available to health care providers and to date no simple means of detection for the majority of new compounds.