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Possible 4-methylmethcathinone-Related Death
by Erowid, Winta, Suave, Abrad
v1.0 - Jul 16, 2008
In July 2008 rumors began circulating on psychoactive substance message boards about a death in Denmark possibly caused by 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone). Early reports referred to a Danish television news report by TV2 Nyhederne1, a story that provided only fragmentary details of the events in question.

Two days later Fyens Stiftstidende reported that 18-year-old Kenneth Nielson, from Ullerslev, Denmark, went into convulsions and was taken to a university hospital, after taking an unknown substance.2 He remained in a coma for a week and died on May 2, 2008. Police originally believed Nielsen had died from a methamphetamine overdose, but began to suspect 4-methylmethcathinone may have been involved after learning that he was in possession of the chemical. Toxicology reports were inconclusive, so unfortunately we will probably never know what killed the young man.

The mystery surrounding Nielson's death is a tragic testimony to the uncertainties that can surround the use of novel chemicals whose effects and risks are not well understood.

Unknown substance may be behind death of 18-year-old
by Susanne Siig Petersen, Fyens Stiftstidende
Translated by Suave

Jun 20, 2008 -- It remains unclear what substance led to the death of Kenneth Nielsen, 18. According to his mother, the identity of the substance is of no importance.

ULLERSLEV: Perhaps it was not methamphetamine that led to the death of 18-year-old Kenneth Nielsen from Ullerslev. A relatively unknown substance and possible suspect has found its way to Denmark, or more specifically, Østfyn.

Until last Wednesday, the police had concluded that Kenneth Nielsen died from methamphetamine that he had brought to a party in Nyborg. After several seizures and with froth around his mouth he was brought to the Odense University Hospital, where he died on May 2nd, after a week-long coma.

Impossible to Say

It has now been found that Kenneth Nielsen was also in possession of the substance mephedrone on the day that he died. As one would expect, this has resulted in various theories about whether it could have been mephedrone that killed the 18-year-old from Ullerslev.

"We received the results from the autopsy today (yesterday, edt.), and it is impossible to say what it was that killed him," explains his mother, Anette Nielsen. But in the midst of her grief, the identity of the substance that killed her son is of no importance.

"Whether it was this or that drug that killed him is completely irrelevant," she says.

The new substance, so far only seen in connection with this incident, consists of methylcathinone [Erowid note: this is not correct - 4-methylmethcathinone is chemically similar to methylcathinone, but is a different compound], which is known as the active substance in the Khat plants [Erowid note: this is also not correct - methylcathinone is a synthetic substance that is not found in khat, although it is similar to cathinone and cathine, which are the primary active chemical in the plant].

As the drug has not been known in Denmark until now, it has not yet been scheduled.


But its legal status does not matter one way of the other to Anette Nielsen, who has lost her son.

"It's all hopeless regardless. People will get hold of it either way. They'll just buy it on the internet. There's nothing that can be done about it. I have come to understand that much," says Kenneth Nielsen's mother.

References #
  1. "Nyt narkotika dræber ung mand". TV2 Nyhederne. Jun 18, 2008.
  2. Petersen SS. "Ukendt stof måske bag 18-årigs død [Unknown substance may be behind death of 18-year-old]". Fyens Stiftstidende. Jun 20, 2008.
Revision History #
  • version 1.0 - Aug 20, 2008 - Published on