The drug mephedrone is disturbing for a number of reasons. Fortunately, this drug is now outlawed—attempted-matricide and removal of certain manly parts has a way of convincing people legitimate dangers exist—but it increasingly remains a threat and a problem.
While we generally disagree with the idea of making recreational marijuana legal, we have never been fans of pot landing people time in jail. It simply does not make sense. Mephedrone and other drugs like it, on the other hand, certainly need stronger deterrents by comparison.
That might sound hypocritical to some, but really, there is a world of difference between the two. Although alcoholism and addiction are the same disease, and the substance to which the addict and alcoholic become addicted are irrelevant, the consequences associated with each drug are not so irrelevant.
Despite mephedrone’s outlawed status three-to-four years ago, it is thriving—especially in Europe.
Drug laws, by their very natures, are imperfect. They always have been, and with advances in modern chemistry, it does not appear that will change any time soon. From the moment a drug is synthesized, it is only a matter of time before it either gets outlawed or goes through clinical trials (assuming it had legitimate applications in the first place). Still, that gray area in between can be long enough for some serious damage to take place.
Further, when the drug in question is made illegal, the addition or subtraction of a single molecule means a new substance is created. It might have all the same effects, but that one change makes it a different substance, and therefore has to undergo the whole process all over again. As such, that time for irreparable damage is extended that much longer.
The dangers to others—while not to be minimized—are not nearly as bad as they are to the users themselves. Because there is rarely any consideration for what the long-term or short-term effects of these drugs are during their creation, the consequences of their use can be substantial in both those long- and short-term timeframes.
Still, publications like Rolling Stone lament the illegal classification of these drugs based on “media sensationalism,” but (within the same article) also concede that their use and purchase are not wise, based on the anecdotes of users trying to kill family members and genital self-mutilation.
Sensational events generally cause sensational reactions, which is why the media focus on these in the first place. Additionally, drugs like mephedrone are made illegal because people hear what the effects are, and are (understandably) outraged that people could have easy access to something that literally causes a person to go insane for a period of time.
One of the many problems, though, is that the consequences of drug and alcohol addiction and abuse do not wear-off when the substance does. Most of the time, the consequences in a single incident might not be bad, but the accumulation of those, and the major ones that inevitably do pop up, make them impossible to ignore.
The process for making dangerous drugs illegal might not be perfect, but it is better than any other alternative anyone has found so far.
Have you ever taken mephedrone? What is your opinion? Let us know in the comments section below!