Mephedrone use on the increase? Did banning it increase its popularity?

A story local to Fantazia's home town of Cheltenham (which surprisingly has a high incidence of drug taking) about the rise of Mephedrone use and if its conclusion is true then it is more evidence for why drugs should never be banned as it only benefits the dealers and endangers the lives of the users....
Spiraling numbers of young people are said to be getting their highs from lethal drug mephedrone.
The substance, which is better known as Meow Meow or M-Cat, is being sold on the streets of Cheltenham for between £8 and £15 per gram.
Police say usage of the drug has gone up since it was made illegal two years ago – a move the Government hoped would reduce its impact after it was linked to a string of deaths.
Problems linked to its use include paranoia, anxiety and heart palpitations.
Users say it is now on a par with cocaine and ketamine as the most popular drugs among young people in the county.
Users claimed that rather than reducing the drug's usage, making it illegal had led to people buying the substance from shady dealers.
He added: "Previously when websites were competing openly with each other, the quality of the product had to be high as otherwise people wouldn't go back.
"One of the problems since it has been made illegal is the quality has nose-dived.
"Now people are having to buy it on street corners and although they are paying the same price, they're being sold a product diluted with some other rubbish."
Tony France, of the Nelson Trust, which helps drug users in Gloucestershire, said the substance was here to stay.
"Meph has really claimed its spot," he said. "It shows the assumption that making it illegal would drive usage down was wrong.
"It is now in the top four in terms of usage among young people.
"I deal with lots of young people who have taken it and see the impact it has on them.
"It can pose a significant risk."
He said problems were more likely to arise from people overdosing on a night out – rather than the downward spiral effect of a substance like cannabis.
He added: "The best way to avoid coming to harm from drugs is not to take them at all.
"But failing that, mixing substances in your body at the same time – including taking something like mephedrone with alcohol – should be avoided."
Police said there was evidence to suggest the use of mephedrone had become more widespread in the county in recent years.
Acting superintendent Andrew Wasley said: "Since about 2008 we have seen an increase in the reporting of intelligence concerning its use in Gloucestershire."

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Mephedrone use on the increase? Did banning it increase its popularity?
Mephedrone use on the increase?  Did banning it increase its popularity?
Reviewed by Merlyn Rosell
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Rating : 4.5