What is Methylone?
Methylone is a chemical drug which is very similar in structure to MDMA and has comparable effects. It’s a stimulant with a mild hallucinogenic effect. Because it’s a relatively new substance it’s called a research chemical. It’s recommended to treat it with caution: because of its short existence, not much research has been conducted and not much is known about long term effects or addiction rates.
Usually, methylone is offered as powder, but pills are in circulation as well. As with XTC, these tablets can differ in size, color and strength.
In the Netherlands, methylone doesn’t fall under the Opium Act, but under the Medicines Act. At the same time, it’s not officially registered as a medicine. Therefore a general practitioner cannot prescribe it and it’s only possible to obtain the substance illegally. As it is in the Medicines Act other sanctions apply for trading than for drug trafficking. Illicit trafficking in medicines may lead up to a maximum of six years imprisonment, whereas illegal trafficking in substances on the Opium act – e.g. MDMA – can lead up to a maximum of twelve years imprisonment. The status of it differs per country. In the United States, for example, it is on the Opium List and in Canada, it isn’t. The Canadian authorities do not even consider it a medicine, which means the substance is still legal over there.
As mentioned earlier it is similar to MDMA in both structure and functioning. See the picture on the right for structures of different stimulants. The left structures from the top down: amphetamine, methylamphetamine, and methcatione. The right structures from top to bottom: MDA, MDMA, and it. As you can see the only difference with MDMA is an oxygen atom. The effect of a substance depends mainly on the extent to which it binds to certain receptors in the brain.
In vitro research (carried out in test tubes) shows that methylone acts like MDMA regarding the release of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain. Moreover, methy binds 13 times worse to the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 than MDMA. This is a protein that transports serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline out of the brain cells. MDMA thus inhibits this process much stronger than it does. Monoamine transporters that take the same substances back into the cells exist as well. They influences both processes in a more balanced way than MDMA. Therefore it will leave you with a clearer head than MDMA.