University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)710-714
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Psychopharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


Background: International media have been reporting about fatalities allegedly related to mephedrone, a popular recreational stimulant, but now a proportion of them have been confirmed. We aimed here at analyzing information relating to the circumstances of mephedrone-related deaths in the United Kingdom. Methods: Descriptive analysis of information was mainly extracted from the UK National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths database. With an average annual response rate of 95%, UK National Programme on Substance Abuse Deaths receives information from coroners on drug-related deaths among both addicts and nonaddicts in the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. RESULTS: So far, 128 alleged mephedrone-associated fatalities have been reported; mephedrone was identified at postmortem in 90 cases; inquests have been concluded in 69 cases, 62 of which are analyzed here. Typical mephedrone victims were young (mean age, 28.8 years), male, and with a previous history of drug misuse. There was a notable number (18 cases [29%], 11 being from hanging) of deaths involving self-harm. Mephedrone alone was identified at postmortem on 8 occasions (13% of the inquests' sample). Conclusions: Present mortality data may suggest a significant level of caution when ingesting mephedrone. Limitations include an inability to determine the exact extent of risks associated with mephedrone consumption

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