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The Rise of Methoxetamine

It’s 4 am in the morning and the world as you know it seems to slip away into a far and distant space. All the tangible trivialities of your day-to-day life have left you behind; you have taken a stumble down the rabbit hole, and where you are about to come out is very much unknown. This is not a Lewis Carroll play, however; this is the fantastical and very much distorted world of Methoxetamine.

This new ‘legal high’ is on the rise, and the reality is that more and more of Nottingham’s students appear to be currently entering into this world. If you haven’t yet come across this new drug, it is referred to by journalists and the older generation as ‘roflcopter’, but you are much more likely to hear it referred to as ‘MKet’ ? a name which for many of you might ring a few bells with that notorious fad of ‘MKat’, but the effects of this new kid on the block contrast vastly to the soaring highs and never-ending lows of the Mephedrone days.

Essentially, it is a derivative of the popular street drug Ketamine, and produces similar dissociative and numbing effects (for those of you who are unaware of what Ketamine is, it is a white powdered form of horse tranquilizer that is now a big part of the UK drug scene).

The key difference between Ketamine and methoxetamine, apart from the fact Ketamine is currently a class C drug, is that ‘Mket’ is a much more potent version, whose effects last longer and are more pronounced upon its users. Not surprisingly, it is known to induce some strange and bizarre trips, and anecdotes of the effects of this drug make for some interesting reading.

A student at Nottingham (who wishes to remain anonymous) has tried the drug on a few occasions and reported that “time distorts on it, space is abstracted and your brain seems to figure everything out, while at the same time is unbelievably confused. My ability to do things, like move and even speak seems to go, and my body feels overwhelmingly numb”.

The inherent risk with Ketamine and Methoxetamine is that taking too much at a time will inevitably lead to the infamous ‘K’ and ‘MKet’ holes. Another anonymous source recounted a time when he entered one of these notorious ‘MKet holes’ after taking too much:

“I felt as though nothing was real and I was the only person who existed in the world, kind of a Truman Show reality. Then my mind became detached from my body and I couldn’t escape from this sinking feeling. It is very hard to describe how I was feeling in words, but I guess looking back, it kind of felt as though I was dying”.

So the question I assume you are all currently asking is, why on earth anyone would consider doing this to themselves? In fact, the reasons for the rise in Methoxetamine are quite numerous. It can be ordered over the Internet, just as Mephedrone could, and delivered to your door, no questions asked, for around £25 a gram. Despite overwhelming warnings that this chemical is not meant for your nostrils from the sites that you can buy it from, the drug is not illegal, and this must play a big role in its current rise on the scene. Also, any drug which is brought around halls of residence in the likes of Nottingham, Bristol and Leeds will invariably become widespread very fast, owing to their wild ‘everyone is doing it’ culture.

The extreme effects of the drug are rare, and although Leicestershire police have linked the drug to the deaths of a couple, there have been few reported casualties to date. A more common and comical side effect of the drug is for its users to lose control of their bowels. In an interview with NME, Ben Patashnik commented, “The St John’s Ambulance crew at Creamfields first noticed it when they found people standing upright, totally alone and zoned out, with pants full of shit”.

However, more serious health risks are not yet known, because the drug has not been tested, and no one knows what the long-term effects of using it will be. This leads to the bizarre and ironic situation, whereby it may very well be safer to do illegal drugs, such as Ketamine, for which testing has revealed much more about the health risks associated with it, while the potential harm of the legal drug, MKet, is very much an unknown and scary entity.

It is clear to me that given the powerful psychological trips it induces, MKet will never replicate the overwhelming popularity and binge culture which Mephedrone did, and still does to a lesser extent, but the drug still retains an augmenting danger. It is currently not illegal in the UK because its makers have allowed it to come out in the ‘grey market’, which is effectively the government’s blind spot on its drugs policies. By simply changing the molecular structure of ketamine slightly, and not advertising the drug for human consumption, supply of MKet in the UK has been allowed to flourish over the past few months.

It seems evident that MKet is allowed to be bought and sold with such ease, not because it’s not a dangerous drug, but because the Government is too out of touch and slow to prevent it from becoming a widespread problem. Their failure to realise and react to the situation is part of a larger battle the Government is currently having with the drugs industry and ‘legal highs’, and with the example of the rise of Methoxetamine, it is clear that the Government is currently losing the battle.

Jack Gilbert

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