Prevalence of Mephedrone and Synthetic Cathinone Use in the EU

"Synthetic cathinones, such as mephedrone and MPDV, have now carved a space in the illicit stimulants market in some countries. The limited information available suggests that prevalence levels remain low. Repeat surveys that include cathinones are only available for the United Kingdom (England and Wales). In the most recent survey (2012/13), last year use of mephedrone among adults aged 16 to 59 was estimated at 0.5 %, a decrease from 1.1 % in 2011/12 and 1.4 % in 2010/11. Results from a non-representative survey of regular clubbers in the United Kingdom also show a decrease in last year mephedrone use (from 19.5 % in 2011 to 13.8 % in 2012).
"The injection of cathinones, including mephedrone, MDPV and pentedrone, continues to be a concern and has been reported among diverse populations, including opioid injectors, drug treatment clients, prisoners and small populations of men who have sex with men. An increase in treatment demand associated with synthetic cathinone use problems has been reported in Hungary, Romania and the United Kingdom. In Romania, a higher share of first-time treatment entrants reported new psychoactive substances as primary drug (37 %) than reported heroin (21 %). There were an estimated 1 900 mephedrone users entering treatment in the United Kingdom in 2011/12, with more than half of them under the age of 18."


European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction, "European Drug Report 2014: Trends and Developments" (Lisbon, Portugal: EMCDDA, 2014), p. 43.