‘Killer’ drugs seized at Alicante airport

ALICANTE – THE first police seizure of a synthetic recreational drug only declared illegal in Spain last month has taken place in Alicante. A shipment of Mephedrone had allegedly left Asia when it was still legal in Spain; by the time it arrived at El Altet airport the EU ban had come into force.

As of December 8, any Mephedrone importer could end up being considered a drug trafficker, so the cache was seized, according to Customs. Mephedrone was first synthesised in 1929, but only rediscovered in 2003.

By 2007 it was available for sale on the internet, but over the course of 2010 it was made illegal in many EU countries and by the end of the year in all 27 EU states.

Prior to the EU’s December ruling it was still legal in 12 of them, including Spain, and sold as a ‘fertilizer or bath salts’, according to El Pais.

Mephedrone – also known as miau-miau – acts in a similar way to amphetamines, according to psychiatrists writing in the British Medical Journal. It is considered to be halfway between cocaine and ecstasy.

It gives the user increased levels of alertness, euphoria, excitement, energy and a higher appreciation for music; hence its popularity in the club scene. Side effects include excessive sweating, dehydration, increased heart rate or insomnia, teeth-grinding, anxiety, and dilated pupils.

Between 2008 and 2010 there were reported fatalities from the use of this drug in Sweden, the UK and the United States.

It had become very popular last summer in Ibiza and until a month ago, a gram could be bought legally for €10 to €15.

By Nicole Hallett

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