UK: New Drug To Replace Mephedrone As ‘Legal High’


Pubdate: Sun, 18 Apr 2010
Source: Sunday Telegraph (UK)
Copyright: Telegraph Group Limited 2010
Author: Ben Leach

A new drug called MDAI is being advertised across the internet as a replacement for “miaow miaow”.

Miaow miaow, or mephedrone, became illegal in Britain this weekend after the Home Office pushed through legislation classifying it as a class B drug.

But analysts at the Psychonaut Research Project, an EU funded-organisation based at King’s College London which monitors the internet for new trends in drug abuse, said MDAI could replace the drug as a popular ‘legal high’.

Paolo Deluca, a co-principal investigator, told the Observer: “Websites are already starting to promote MDAI and this could become the next popular product.”

The drug, a synthetic chemical developed as an antidepressant, replicates many of the effects of MDMA, or ecstasy.

Experts believe it could soon be mass-produced by the Chinese manufacturers who flooded the UK with mephedrone, which was the fourth-most popular drug in Britain behind cannabis, cocaine and ecstasy.

Websites selling mephedrone closed down last week with the final deadline for placing orders 3pm on Wednesday.

Some sites immediately began advertising or offering MDAI, with most describing it as a “research chemical”.

One of the most popular mephedrone websites states: “New products for April – MDAI.”

The cost of the chemical is about twice that of mephedrone, with a gram costing UKP25.