A Tab survey has revealed the extent of Mephedrone use among Cambridge students.
More than ONE IN THIRTEEN Cambridge University students has taken mephedrone, a Tab survey has revealed.
8% of the 1671 students polled told The Tab they had taken the legal party drug. Meanwhile, 25 PERCENT of clubbers at student club nights admitted trying mephedrone.
The news comes amid calls in the national media for the drug – which has been linked to at least 3 deaths in the UK – to be banned.
The drug was most popular at Homerton, where 16% of students polled said they had taken mephedrone. No one surveyed at Clare or Caius colleges said they had tried it.
The Tab survey was also carried out on student nights at Kambar, Cindies, Life and Fez. Kambar had the highest rate of use, with 33% of visitors admitting they had taken mephedrone. Life polled the lowest, with 18%.
Mephedrone is highly addictive, and a number of students we spoke to described their experience with the drug as “fiendish.”
A female student from Robinson said she and many friends had become highly dependent on the drug. “I can barely get up for anything without having a little snort, and I definitely can’t go clubbing without it,” she told us.
“I haven’t experienced any physical problems, but I get so depressed when I’m not on meph. It’s dark.”
Other students who take mephedrone habitually were less concerned. “I do take it almost every day,” said a student studying medicine, “But it’s not really a problem – it’s not that different to people who drink every day.”
Asked if they would stop taking it if it was illegal, most students said no. Many of those who said they would claimed they would simply switch to other drugs.
“People only take it because there’s no MDMA around,” explained a girl from New Hall, “If they can’t get hold of that then it probably won’t matter – a new legal high will probably pop up pretty soon.”
The drug is widely available on the internet, and costs between £10 and £15 for a gram. It is advertised as ‘plant food’ although there is no evidence to show that Mephedrone has any purpose except as a recreational drug.
One company, Cambotanics, offers delivery in the Cambridge area within 30 minutes. According to an employee of the company, Ben, Cambotanics currently delivers to around 20 customers per week.
When asked if misuse of mephedrone bothered him, Ben responded: “I readily accept that Mephedrone is sometimes misused; and this does of course bother me.
“However I do feel that it would be wrong to suggest that a product should not be sold on the basis that it could be misused by some people.
“I’m sure you would agree that there are other products sold throughout the market that are, unfortunately, misused by some people.
“We take every opportunity to advertise our products as not for human consumption.”
Porter’s Lodge Delivery
Many students are regularly arranging for the drug to be delivered to their college porter’s lodge.
One student who ordered 10 grams told us “I came into the porter’s lodge and picked it up from behind the desk. The package absolutely reeked of the stuff, but the porters had no idea the smell meant it was Mephedrone.”
“Even if the porters had known, there’s nothing they could have done – it’s legal,” he added.
After increased media attention, Mephedrone is likely to be made illegal by the summer. One Catz student told The Tab he had purchased A KILO of the drug to sell when it is made illegal.
“I currently make about a hundred quid a week from selling meph, but when it’s illegal there will be more demand for it at a higher price,” she said.
Mephedrone has been directly attributed to at least one fatality in Britain.
Last term The Tab revealed that the story of a Mephedrone user tearing off his own scrotum was untrue.