Mephedrone and ecstasy are often thought to be very similar, if not the same. However, they do have significant differences. Those who use MDMA or ecstasy regularly and attempt to switch to mephedrone should know that mephedrone use poses more dangers and a higher risk of abuse.
According to Professor Richard Green, "Although users report that mephedrone produces psychoactive effects similar to MDMA, these two drugs produce different changes in the brain and the adverse effects they produce, particularly when ingested with other drugs, are different."
Medical researchers believe that there exist two major effects on users of MDMA that are not found when using mephedrone. These effects are the production of monoamine neurotoxicity in the brain and the hyperthermia.
Users of mephedrone often take the drug in short periods of time, which generally leads to tolerance building and dependency. But why is mephedrone more rewarding to the users than MDMA? The following is thought to be the answer. Mephedrone has a quicker effect on the user and a psychostimulant effect that is considerably more present in mephedrone use than in MDMA use. For these reasons mephedrone, with its intensely addictive high, is categorized as a high abuse liability drug.
"One of the key messages for medics and drug users is that even though psychostimulant drugs may initially seem similar, the differences in the way they work can be critical."
It is important to realize that abuse of any drug is dangerous, and the excess can lead to health risks. Switching from one drug to another to get the same effects, such as going from MDMA to mephedrone or vice versa, is an act that may lead to a serious addiction problem and a higher risk of developing multiple addictions to several drugs.