The powerful legal stimulant, mephedrone, has opened the door to a seemingly unstoppable virtual drugs market. Mike Power, the first journalist to report on mephedrone in Druglink last March, tracks its journey from Chinese labs to Britain’s streets.
In May 2004, on an underground drug discussion group called ‘The Hive’, a chemist going by the online name of Kinetic posted the following message: ‘I’ve been bored over the last couple of days and had a few fun reagents lying around, so I thought I’d try and make some 1-(4-methylphenyl)-2-methylaminopropanone hydrochloride, or 4-ethylmethcathinone.’
He detailed how he had synthesised 4.8g of the drug in 48 hours – and then tried it. ‘I could feel the rushes of energy coming across me, and after that, a fantastic sense of well-being that I haven’t got from any drug before except my beloved Ecstasy,’ he wrote.