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ISSN: 2155-6105

Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy
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Research Article

Simultaneous use of Mephedrone and Alcohol: A Qualitative Study of Users' Experiences

Christina O’Neill and Karen McElrath*

School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland, UK

*Corresponding Author:
Karen McElrath
School of Sociology
Social Policy and Social Work
Queen’s University, Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland, UK
Tel: +44 28 90 973551
Fax: +44 28 90 973943
E-mail: [email protected]

Received July 29, 2012; Accepted August 28, 2012; Published August 30, 2012

Citation: O’Neill C, McElrath K (2012) Simultaneous use of Mephedrone and Alcohol: A Qualitative Study of Users’ Experiences. J Addict Res Ther S9:001. doi:10.4172/2155-6105.S9-001

Copyright: © 2012 O’Neill C, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) gained popularity across “recreational” drug scenes in the United Kingdom and Ireland during 2009. Although mephedrone was banned in both jurisdictions in 2010, the drug was subsequently sourced through street dealers. This qualitative study explores the simultaneous use of mephedrone and alcohol, among study participants who used mephedrone following legislative controls. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with male and female respondents. The results suggest a three-tier classification system that describes users’ experiences with simultaneous use of mephedrone and alcohol. Most participants engaged in “heavy” alcohol use immediately prior to consuming mephedrone, and then reduced alcohol consumption as the effects of mephedrone were experienced during the drug episode. Spontaneous use of mephedrone often was associated with larger amounts of alcohol being consumed just prior to the mephedrone episode. The findings have the potential for informing socioepidemiological surveys as well as peer interventions to reduce harm associated with simultaneous drug use.


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