Mephedrone twice as prevalent in Wales23rd October 2012
A police report has suggested that the drug mephedrone is over twice as prevalent in Wales than it was in 2011.
The drug, which is also known by its street name of 'meow meow' or 'MCAT', has been involved in an increasing number of offences in Wales.
This contrasts with the rest of the country, where mephedrone and other 'party' drugs' popularity have decreased since 2011.
The Operation Tarian report showed the drug had been touted to children at a very low cost - as little as 20p in some cases.
Det Supt Rhiannon Kirk, of Operation Tarian's regional intelligence unit, said: "It's twice as prevalent as it was this time last year...what's particularly worrying is the public perception of mephedrone in Wales, which is that it's somehow a safer drug or a party drug, and that's just not the case - it's a myth."
"It's a dangerous drug and should be seen as such. There's nothing glamorous about mephedrone, meow meow or MCAT, whatever you want to call it, it's a dirty drug."
The drug, which had held the status of a 'legal high' until two years ago, was reclassified in April 2010.
It can cause serious side effects such as fits, brain damage, hallucinations and heart problems, and is thought to have addictive qualities.
Between April and June this year, the number of offences which involved the drug in Wales increased by 165% compared to the same period in 2011.
The report identified 'mephedrone hotspots' which included Llanelli, Swansea, Bridgend, Newport and Ammanford.
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