A LEGAL party drug linked to three deaths in the UK has resulted in a number of arrests in Ellesmere Port.

Mephedrone – widely sold over the internet as a plant fertiliser – has a number of street names including m-cat (from its chemical name MM-cat), meow, bubble and white magic, and is reported to produce a similar chemical reaction to Ecstasy.

The drug – usually inhaled in powder form – has so far not been named as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act despite speculation linking it to the deaths of three young people, including 14-year-old schoolgirl Gabrielle Price, of Brighton, in November.

Drug liaison officer for the western division, detective constable Roy Wellings said: “People are becoming more aware of it as it appears in the media and it’s use is spreading

“There have been a number of seizures in Ellesmere Port, mainly for personal use, which have resulted in arrests for suspicion of possession of illegal drugs.

“Whilst these figures are low at the moment, it’s certainly increasing in popularity.”

Reported side effects from inhaling mephedrone include:


Sweating and chills

Heart palpitations

Short term memory loss

Tightened jaw muscles

Grinding teeth

Light headedness

DC Wellings said: “There has been very little scientific research into the effects of human consumption and no one knows what the long term health effects could be.”

He also warned that despite it being legal people are risking being arrested under suspicion of possessing a controlled substance.

He said: “The problem is that it’s very similar in appearance to cocaine or powered MDNA and as there is no test for it at street level the officer quite rightly has to suspect that it’s a Class A substance.”

A spokesperson for Chester and Wirral Partnership Foundation Trust, representing drug and alcohol services for Ellesmere Port, said “We are aware of the use of it around and we are aware of its health risks, but we can’t say what the long term effects can be.”