Coroner warns of Mcat dangers

First published in County News

The myth that mephedrone, known as Mcat or meow meow, is a ‘safe party drug’ must be dispelled, Pembrokeshire’s deputy coroner has warned.

Deputy coroner Gareth Lewis highlighted the danger of the drug at an inquest into the death of Ryan Kenneth Smith, who died aged 26 after taking mephedrone.

Mr Lewis said it appeared there was a ‘public misconception’ that mephedrone was a safer drug and ‘worryingly’ its use in Wales had doubled, according to police.

“The message that should ring clear and loud is that mephedrone, or Mcat, is a dangerous drug and it can kill.

“The myth that surrounds it, that it’s a safe party drug, must be dispelled,” he warned.

Coroner’s officer for Dyfed- Powys Police, Jeremy Davies, told the inquest that Mr Smith, who lived at Old Coronation School, Pembroke Dock, had taken mephedrone in his flat with a friend on July 25th.

When his friend woke the next day he thought Mr Smith was still asleep so he went back to sleep.

However, when he awoke later in the afternoon of July 26th, he could not wake Mr Smith, who was on his back on the living room floor, so he rang the emergency services.

Mr Smith worked with his father as a scaffolder and had suffered ill health as a child, and depression during his teens, the inquest in Milford Haven heard.

A post mortem found toxic levels of mephedrone and this was recorded as the cause of Mr Smith’s death.

 

IN the days following Ryan Smith’s death local police issued warnings about the risks of taking mephedrone, which had originally been sold as a legal alternative to cocaine and
amphetamine.

 

The drug has been illegal since 2010 and the long-term sideeffects are still largely unknown, but it is very addictive. Side-effects include heart attack, seizures, sweating and paranoia. It also supresses the apppetite and need for sleep.
 

After use people can become very emotional and some can be quite aggressive. Users will also develop a unique odour, similar to stale cat urine. They will be unable to smell it on themselves, but
through perspiration it will be smelt on skin, clothes and hair, police said.

 

Anyone who would like more advice on the dangers of drug misuse should see www.dyfed-powys.police.uk or www.dan24/7.org.uk or www.talktofrank.com.

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