Street names - Skat M-cat, Miaow, Miaew, Bubbles, White magic, Plant feeder.

Mephedrone produces a similar experience to drugs like Amphetamines, Ecstasy or Cocaine and is normally a white, off-white or yellowish powder which is usually snorted, but can also be swallowed in bombs (wraps of paper) or appear in pill or capsule form.

Effects

Many people who have used Mephedrone report that their experiences are similar to taking Amphetamines, Ecstasy or Cocaine and produce a sense of euphoria and wellbeing, with users becoming more alert, confident and talkative. People who have used Methylone, which is closely chemically related to Ecstasy, particularly report a feeling of empathy with those around them.

People who snort these substances can experience extremely sore nasal passages, throats and mouths with burns or cuts caused by the chemicals sometimes leading to nose bleeds.

Risks

Like other stimulant drugs, the Cathinone derivatives can have an impact on the heart, with some users reporting heart palpitations or an irregular/racing heartbeat, which may last for some time after taking the drug.  Users can experience blurred vision, hot flushes and muscle tension, particularly in the jaw and face and some people report that their fingers and other extremities have taken on a blueish pallor after using Mephedrone.

As with other stimulants, the substances tend to act as appetite suppressants and nausea and vomiting have been reported, particularly if mixed with other drugs such as alcohol or Cannabis.

Street names - Green, K, Special K, Super K.

Ketamine is a powerful anaesthetic drug which has been used for operations on humans and animals.  The price of Ketamine varies from £10 to £20 a gram.

Effects

Ketamine has pain killing effects but also alters perception with users saying they feel detached from themselves and others around them.  At low doses the user will feel euphoric and experience rushes or waves of energy.

Risks

At higher doses the user will often experience hallucinations similar to LSD and a typical out of body or detached experience, which is normally followed by numbness in the limbs and strange muscle movements.  Users may also feel sick or actually be sick and when using high doses a tolerance quickly develops. This results in the user requiring more of the drug to achieve the same repeated high.

Stimulant like weight loss and loss of appetite may occur during periods of heavy use, as well as psychological dependence, psychosis and gradual loss of contact with the real world.

Street names - GBH Liquid Ecstasy, One comma four, One four bee.

GHB is an anaesthetic with primarily sedating rather than painkilling properties. It is often sold as ‘Liquid Ecstasy’ because of its relaxant and euphoric effects, although it has no relation to Ecstasy

GHB is a clear, odourless and oily liquid that tastes slightly salty.  Users often swallow it mixed with water or other soft drinks.  When intended for illicit use, GHB is sold in small bottles or capsules.

Effects

Users of GHB report that the drug makes them feel euphoric, with a loss of inhibitions, increased confidence and higher libido.  Some people liken the experience to taking Ecstasy, although most users report that the experience is very similar to being drunk on alcohol.

Risks

Nausea and vomiting, seizures, convulsions, disorientation and stiffening of muscles may occur and coma or respiratory collapse may follow.

Overdose risks are significantly increased if the drug is used at the same time as alcohol or other depressant drugs.

Street names - Angel dust, Hog, Peace pills

PCP is a synthetic drug that was originally manufactured as a veterinary anaesthetic.  It comes in liquid, crystal, pill or powder form and can be smoked in a cigarette, snorted, swallowed or injected.

Effects

PCP is an anaesthetic which has hallucinatory effects and is regarded as a very powerful drug that can have disturbing effects including distortion of the senses, mood and experience of time, dreamlike states, euphoria or depression.

Risks

Panic attacks, paranoia and aggressive, sometimes violent behaviour have been reported along with deaths from heart or lung failure.

As with any hallucinogenic drug, people who are already depressed or unstable are more likely to experience negative effects.

Street names - NOS Laughing Gas, Wippits, Hippie Crack, Chargers

Nitrous Oxide is a volatile substance which become a gas at room temperature. It is from a group of drugs which kill pain. It can be misuse because when inhaled it can give a feeling of happiness and relaxation that is why it has the nickname of laughing gas. Nitrous Oxide is a colour-less gas with a possible sweet smell and taste.

How it's used

It is inhaled through the mouth. It can be sold in balloons from which the gas is then inhaled. (Never inhale from the canisters).

Effects

Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is a depressant type drug which can slow down the brain and body responses. This can depend on how much is inhale. It can give feelings of  calmness or relaxation or cause giggling and laughing. Or there may be difficulties thinking, sounds may be distorted or hallucinations. 

Risks

It can cause dizziness or affect judgement which may cause problems in a dangerous situation. The is a high risk of becoming unconsciousness or even dying if the gas is inhaled  straight from the canister because it takes away all the oxygen. There is an even greater risk of this if the gas is consumed in an enclosed space or a bag is used to cover the nose and mouth. Severe vitamin B deficiency can develop with heavy regular use. This can cause serious nerve damage causing tingling and numbness in fingers and toes and even difficulties in walking

Street names - PEP pills, Part-E pills, Frenzy, Smileys.

It is sold as a tablet, capsule or as an off-white powder.  BZP pills are marketed under a huge variety of names and the tablets come in many different shapes.

Effects

It gives a sense of euphoria, increased alertness, enhanced senses and a raised heart rate, with the effects lasting for approximately 6 – 8 hours.

Risks

These include vomiting and nausea, headaches, palpitations, anxiety, mood swings, confusion and tremors.  Some of these effects can occur in the come down period, while some can be experienced for up to 24 hours after use.  There are reports of users not being able to sleep for up to ten hours after taking BZP pills, with more severe adverse effects including fits and potentially life-threatening seizures.

Street name - Spice gold, Spice silver, Spice diamond, Spice, Solar flare, Space truckin'.

Spice refers to a collection of herbs or plant material which has been sprayed with Synthetic Cannabinoids, producing a Cannabis like effect when smoked.

Some of the base herbs themselves also have a Cannabis like effect when smoked.

Effects

If smoked, Spice normally gives the user a similar experience to smoking Cannabis and leads to feelings of relaxation or even euphoria.

Risks

Other less pleasant effects may include a raised pulse rate, dry mouth, lowering of inhibitions, dizziness, agitation or paranoia.  Evidence also indicates that Synthetic Cannabinoids can be anything up to ten times stronger than the THC found in Cannabis plants.

Street name - Eclipse.

Salvia is a member of the mint family and iis marketed in the UK as Herbal Ecstasy which is purchased dried ready for smoking.

Effects

These are more hallucinatory than other legal highs, though high doses are usually needed to achieve these effects.

Herbal Ecstasy has until recently been sold freely at dance events, clubs, concerts and festivals and contains various herbs and extracts that are claimed to be hallucinogenic or stimulant. The vendors and packaging claim that they are a natural and safe substitute for Ecstasy and although they may be herbal or a herbal extract they are not necessarily safe, with side effects similar to synthetic drugs.

Street names - Cloud 9, Nirvana Plus.

Ephedrine is an extract of the Chinese herb Ma Huang which has been reported to have stimulant effects such as shivers up and down the spine, sensitive skin and muscles and feelings of exhilaration.

Effects 

Higher doses can be quite unpleasant, possibly causing muscle spasms and even heart attacks and these drugs should not be used by people with heart disease, diabetes, hypertension or kidney disease.  Other effects include racing heart, dry throat, anxiety, tremors and cold feet and hands.

Street names - Roflocptr, Rhino Ket, Mxe, Moxy, Mexy, Mexxy.

Mexxy or MXE is a chemically dissociative anaesthetics like Ketamine and PCP and has similar effects. From anecdotal reports MXE appears to be much stronger then Ketamine. MXE is being marketed as a replacement to ketamine but without ketamine's harmful effects on the bladder, but there is no evidence to support this. And it's important to be careful as it took some years before ketamine damaging effects on bladders came to light.

Use

Because of its strength only very small pinches of MXE are snorted. Some people put it in water or place it under there tongue. Where it dissolves and goes into the blood stream. It takes 10-15 minutes for the effects to be felt but it can take 60-90 minutes. This can lead to people thinking they have not taken enough, and so they take more which is often dangerous.

Effects

Are similar to ketamine but more intense and longer lasting. It can produce feelings of happiness, warmth, or enlightenment and detachment from their surroundings. But it can also cause hallucinations by hearing and see things that are not there or feeling of being on the edge and restless - very agitated. A severe form of dissociative catatonia can develop where someone is awake but doesn't respond or interact with anything. MXE can also cause involuntary eye movement, loss of balance, poor coordination, unsteadiness on their feet and slurred speech. This is not seen when someone uses ketamine.

Risks

Because of its strength it is easier to take too much and overdose. Mixing MXE with alcohol can dangerously affect the way some one breathe and how their heart works