'Meow Meow' spreads its tentacles in Madhya Pradesh

Care for a Meow Meow? No, it doesn't refer to a cat. The term 'meow meow' actually refers to the new fad in the drug scene. It is a slang for mephedrone, which is a hit among the young drug addicts.

indore Updated: Dec 27, 2014 18:08 IST
Nida Khan
Nida Khan
Hindustan Times

Care for a Meow Meow? No, it doesn't refer to a cat. The term 'meow meow', actually refers to the new fad in the drug scene to have hit the city. A commonly used slang for mephedrone, a chemical drug, it is the latest fashion among city’s young drug addicts.

Available at one twentieth cost of cocaine, the drug which is easy to procure, is not banned and can be home delivered. After becoming popular among drug users in Mumbai and Bangalore, this drug has found root in Indore.

"The new psychotropic drugs are the worst things to have hit the youngsters. These are drugs which are not in the banned list of Narcotics, Drugs and Psychotropic Substance (NCB) Act, 1958. They are crazy drugs which leave horrifying side effects on a person," said Mukesh Khatri, superintendent, Central Bureau of Narcotics, Indore. "The last drug which was listed under NDPS Act was Ketamine, and that was around three years back," he added.

Mephedrone looks similar to cocaine and is usually snorted or taken orally. These drugs can be ordered online. Websites provide a list of sellers, most of which are online pharmacy websites.

"A dangerous trend of purchasing and selling drugs online has crept in. It is dangerous as there is no proper monitoring. There are a number of sellers and everybody is selling some or the other drug," said another senior official with the bureau.

Of late, it has been found that the age old drugs like heroin are being replaced by newer versions. To save themselves from law, the drug dealers mix new components, which are not banned.

Meow Meow is just one such addition to it. "There are more to count, like krokodil which is mostly made by ingredients which are not banned. It has components like paint thinner," added Khatri.

Unable to match up to the growing number of experiments taking place among drug suppliers and abusers, officials feels that urgent steps are needed to check the menace. Officials say that chemical drugs are nothing but a mix of some compounds. One compound is replaced with other.

The rage of any kind of new drugs is more among the young, upper middle class families which serve them at parties hosted at farm houses and homes. It is difficult to nab the culprits as secret interactions between the peddler and the customer leave minimum trace of what goes on.

How are drugs purchased?

According to Narcotics Control Bureau, internet pharmacy is an extension of e-commerce in the pharmacy industry, whereby pharmaceutical products i.e. medicines, are sold online instead of conventional pharmacies.

The modus operandi is simple. A number of websites offer an entire range of medicines, ranging from over-the-counter drugs to prescription drugs falling in the category of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances to their prospective customers.

In some cases, the suppliers host websites. In other cases, these websites act as a sort of intermediary i.e. they get orders from prospective customers and then pass it on to the suppliers, collecting their commission in the process.

Once these orders are received online, they are passed on to the suppliers who might be based in a different country. Suppliers then source the drugs and execute the orders, usually through courier parcels, and pass on the tracking number of the individual parcels to the website operators.

Thereafter, the websites operator makes payments to the supplier after deducting the usual service charges. These are standard practices of e-commerce and are not unique to Internet pharmacies. Senior officials say that though e-commerce is legal but Internet pharmacies are illegal in India.

First Published: Dec 27, 2014 16:58 IST