On Thursday 5th April 2012, Methoxetamine (also known as MXE, mexxy, MKET and roflcoptr) became the first drug to be banned by the Government under a temporary class drug order. This means that it is now illegal to sell or supply MXE, including giving it away to friends. It is also illegal to possess MXE for the purpose of selling it. Possession for personal use is not illegal, though police may still confiscate and destroy it. Those caught making, supplying or importing the drug face up to 14 years in prison and an unlimited fine under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The temporary ban follows a recommendation from an independent body of experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD). During the temporary ban period, which can last up to 12 months, the ACMD will continue to investigate the effects of MXE and will make a recommendation to the Government whether it should be permanently controlled.

What is MXE?

MXE is a close relation to the Class C drug ketamine. It has similar effects with users reporting feelings of euphoria, warmth and detachment from their surroundings. It’s a white powder and before it was banned it was sold online as a legal high.

Why is there concern about MXE?

  • Nobody yet knows the long term risks of using MXE, but in the short term MXE can make the heart beat faster than it should (called tachycardia) and increases blood pressure, which can lead to a range of problems including heart attacks or strokes.
  • Some users have reported taking MXE as an alternative to ketamine because they thought it wouldn’t damage their bladder, which ketamine can. However, there is no evidence to support this and MXE may yet prove to be just as harmful.
  • Anecdotal evidence suggests MXE is stronger than ketamine, which means it’s easier to take too much and overdose.

Read more about MXE

Read more about legal highs

Updated: 5 April 2012