I’m waiting for Varun (name changed), in the living room with Italian marble, overlooking the lush green estate in Thane. It’s not exactly a counseling/ coaching session. Varun had been reluctant to meet a counselor. A common friend had arranged this meeting. Varun, drained and exhausted, arrives tries to make himself comfortable in the sofa. A little amount of probing reveals that Varun is on drugs. Initially, it was not surprising. But, when I probed a little more and he prompts a funny name “meow meow”. This was years back when I first heard about “meow meow”. The scene has not changed much.

Meow meow’s scientific name is mephedrone. Popular among teenagers across Mumbai and other metros. Its street name has been derived from its chemical name, 4-methylmethcathinone or M-CAT. This drug does not only affect  sleep and eating habits but it also makes the addict abusive and violent. The drug is easily available on streets and Internet. Usually, the dealers are teenagers also, and are already into this habit, creating more such users. The irony is many teens use it to deal exam stress to avoid sleep, and to study overnight.  Research has found that approximately 1 lac users are in Mumbai alone. Users are mostly in age group of 14-19 years. If your teen is not in home for 2-3 days at a stretch and reflects below-given signs, please see a counselor or a psychiatrist as immediate attention is needed.

How to identify a 'meow meow' user

  • They would be awake for two to three nights at a stretch.
  • They often have a bleeding nose or blisters on their upper lips.
  • Drastic change in the user’s appetite
  • They have a bluish tinge on their lips and fingertips.
  • They would be hyperactive, unable to focus on one thing and keep fidgeting, twitching and sniffing. 
  • Their movements would be fast, abrupt and uncoordinated. Complain of panic attacks, delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia.
  • They would frequently disappear to have their next fix. Would stay in the bathroom for longer than usual.
  • They may find a new set of friends and display severe mood fluctuations.

Addiction isn’t about substance – you aren’t addicted to the substance, you are addicted to the alteration of mood that the substance brings.
Susan Cheever   

1)How To Change Habits and Behaviors With CBT: An empowering introduction to achieving sustainable change in your life through cognitive behavioral therapy (Empowering Change Book 3)

2) Mindfulness and Acceptance for Addictive Behaviors: Applying Contextual CBT to Substance Abuse and Behavioral Addictions (The Context Press Mindfulness and Acceptance Practica Series)