Call it Meow Meow, M-Cat, Bubbles, Meth or Drone. At 1/20th the cost of cocaine and with a similar effect, Mephedrone is the new drug to battle.
Mental health experts say that physical and mental degeneration brought on by Meow Meow are much faster than any of the other drugs that are socially used. According to Dr Rakesh Ghidiyal, Psychiatrist, MGM New Bombay hospital, Vashi this drug can damage the brain cells within a year.
Dr Yusuf Merchant, President, Drug Abuse Information Rehabilitation and Research Centre (DAIRRC) says the drug became commonly used in the metros sometime in April and since then, has become a huge hit at parties. He puts the number of Meow Meow addicts in Mumbai at 1 lakh and says the party season will see a spurt in the number of users.
The drug is known to cause aggressive behaviour and heighten the sex drive. The common symptoms of Meow Meow use include excessive sweating, nausea, severe panic attacks, hallucinations and paranoia. The finger tips and lips turn blue and hallucination is common.
The police acknowledge that curbing the menace of this “new” drug is one of the priorities on their New Year checklist. Additional Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Anti-Narcotic Cell, Mumbai, Vilas Shinde says “We had sent a proposal to ban Meow Meow or M-Cat or Mephedrone under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 and also declare it to be a punishable offence under Section 328 of the Indian Penal Code to the state government. On 14 August, the state had sent the proposal further to the Centre for approval.”