A drug-testing group is warning Kiwis against taking MDMA during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While New Zealand only has 21 active coronavirus cases, the country is still at alert level 2 in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.
The Ministry of Health has provided guidelines for staying safe during the pandemic, as well as a warning that elderly people and those with underlying health conditions are more at risk.
Now KnowYourStuffNZ has added another at-risk group to the list, saying people who are using MDMA could be at a higher risk of catching the virus.
In a post on its website the company urged people to "wash your hands, cough into your elbow and don't take MDMA".
"We each have a responsibility to both stop the spread and flatten the curve, and part of that is being aware there are some ways that taking MDMA can increase your risk of infection," it says on its website.
KnowYourStuff says MDMA can put people at risk because it temporarily weakens the immune system.
"COVID-19 affects people with weakened immune systems more harshly. Weakening your immune system makes you both more likely to both contract and spread the virus."
The group also says the places people tend to take the drug, and the way it can change behaviour contribute to the risk.
"The environment you take it in - crowded parties or packed festivals with close contact to multiple people around you makes disease transmission far easier."
"The changes to your behaviour - empathogenic effects of MDMA can lead to feelings of closeness and craving for interpersonal intimacy. This makes social distancing harder to practice when using MDMA."
The warning is particularly topical after the Government announced that gatherings can increase to 100 people on Friday, May 29 from 12pm onwards.
MDMA is a Class B drug in New Zealand and possession is punishable by three months imprisonment and/or a $500 fine.