Meow Meow might sound like something adorable, but it’s actually the slang term for the dangerous synthetic drug mephedrone – a narcotic that’s in the spotlight after a 19-year-old stabbed his mother and cut off his penis while high on the substance.
According to DrugScope, mephedrone “is a stimulant which is closely chemically related to amphetamines.” The high that Meow Meow gives is comparable to ecstasy or cocaine. The drug comes in a white, off-white or yellowish powder that is usually snorted. Mephedrone can also come in pill or capsule form.
Meow Meow has been blamed for an incident in the United Kingdom, where an unnamed 19-year-old student stabbed his mother and cut off his own penis inside his home, the Mirror reported Thursday. Both mother and son were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but they are now in stable condition at Brighton Hospital, according to the tabloid.
The Daily Mail reported that the teen’s penis was reattached.
A family friend said the 19-year-old “is normally a lovely lad and very bright,” the Mirror reported. “But unfortunately he had started dabbling in drugs.”
“He had come home from university for Christmas. It looks like he took mephedrone and completely flipped out attacking his mum and then himself,” the source continued. “When the police arrived they found him hanging from a window and then discovered he had cut off his penis.”
The investigation into the incident is being handled by Sussex Police. “At this stage we are not looking for anyone else in connection with this incident,” police said.
Meow Meow goes for about £10 - £15 a gram (about $16 to $25) in the U.K, according to DrugScope. The stabbing and self-mutilation allegedly fueled by mephedrone use may be a rarity.
“Many people who have used mephedrone and similar drugs report that their experiences are similar to taking amphetamines, ecstasy or cocaine, producing a sense of euphoria and well-being, with users becoming more alert, confident and talkative,” according to DrugScope. While the website says that Meow Meow has been implicated in a number of deaths, “a causal role in fatalaties has not yet been conclusively proven.”
An Australian report highlighting the dangers of Meow Meow (also known as Drone and MCAT) said the drug caused memory lapses in one user. But it’s unclear how severe that damage may be in every user.
"How significant the effects of the memory damage, we just don't know. The research hasn't been done,” said Craig Motbey, a researcher at the University of Sydney who tested mephedrone on rats. "Hopefully we can get the word out to users that this is not a harmless, innocuous drug, it can do damage to you."