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AKA Shrimp

Mar 13

The Drug

4-MEC is an illegal stimulant, its chemical name is 4-Methylethcathinone. It is chemically similar to Mephedrone and they are both cathinones.

It is a white-powdered amphetamine like substance. It is mainly snorted, sometimes swallowed and acts on the central nervous system. 4-MEC can causes rapid heartbeat but also give a strong sense of well-being. It lasts an hour or more – you feel alert, exhilarated and very talkative. It was marketed and advertised as plant food or bath salts simply to get around medicine and consumer legislation.

The price is relatively low (about 10-15 per gram) less than half the cost of cocaine but with much higher purity. It is much less prevalent than M-Cat.

Also known as: Shrimp.


4-MEC is a euphoric drug perhaps somewhere between ecstasy and cocaine. The first few occasions of use, you feel an intense rushing high. There is a sense of well-being and contentment. There is enhanced sensitivity to music, conversation and sex. But you may feel quite depressed the next day. Regular use can adversely effect sleep patterns and cause short-term memory loss and depression.


Relatively little is known about this drug compared to cocaine or ecstasy. It is not possible to know anything much about its long-term use. But we do know amphetamine stimulants accelerate the heart rate. Prolonged use increases the risk of damage to the heart particularly if mostly taken with alcohol. Taking alcohol and 4-MEC can also lead to aggressive behaviour.

Taking drugs like 4-MEC can cause a deep feeling of agitation, heart palpitations, skin rashes, insomnia, vomiting and headaches. Users who snort lots of stimulants can expect to get bad nose bleeds and facial ulcers. Those who chose to bomb it may find they develop gastric burns in their stomach. The link to mental health problems appears to be quite strong for heavy users.

Be Safe

It is unwise to take several lines in a short space of time or with other drugs there is a risk of a severe reaction or even overdose. There is also the danger of paranoia and triggering a psychotic episode which could mean hospitalisation. Taking 4-MEC after alcohol may make you vomit. Anyone taking significant amounts risks feeling some adverse effects on mental health with feelings of despair. So ensure you do not take it regularly.

The Law

Legal to possess until April 2010, 4-MEC became a Class B drug. Being caught in possession of even very small amounts would likely result in your arrest. You may be offered a caution for possession. This means you accept the offence and will have a criminal record. There is also a smaller chance you will be charged with the offence and will have to appear in court where you will most likely be fined or possibly face some community service.