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Mephedrone is a synthetic cathinone derivative included in the class of “New-Novel Psychoactive Substances”. Synthetic cathinones are marketed as “bath salts” or “plant food” and gained notable popularity for similar effects to 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy), or amphetamines. Mephedrone is commonly consumed simultaneously with alcohol.
Objectives and aims
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the interactions between mephedrone and ethanol in humans.
Twelve healthy male, recreational users of psychostimulants participated as outpatients in four experimental sessions. They received a single oral dose of mephedrone (200 mg) and alcohol (0.8 g/kg), mephedrone placebo and alcohol (0.8 g/kg), mephedrone (200 mg) and placebo alcohol, and both placebos. Design was double-blind, double-dummy, randomized, cross-over and controlled with placebo. Study variables included: vital signs (blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, and pupil diameter), subjective effects (visual analogue scales-VAS, ARCI-49 item short form, and VESSPA questionnaire).
The combination produced an increase in the cardiovascular effects of mephedrone and induced more intense feeling of euphoria and well-being in comparison to mephedrone and alcohol. Mephedrone reduced the drunkenness and sedation produced by alcohol.
These results are similar to those obtained with the combination of other psychostimulants as amphetamines and MDMA. Abuse liability of the combination is greater that induced by mephedrone.
Disclosure of interest
The authors have not supplied their declaration of competing interest.
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