Kiwi MDMA, LSD users being conned - study

  • 17/10/2017
Kiwi MDMA, LSD users being conned - study
Photo credit: Getty

MDMA and LSD users, be warned: what you're buying isn't that likely to be what you think it is - at least if you're making your purchases at a music festival.

Newly finalised data shows a worrying number of illicit drug users who thought they were buying a variant of MDMA or LSD were actually getting something quite different.

MDMA and LSD are two of the most popular drugs at summer festivals - with cocaine, ketamine, 2C-B and methylone far less prevalent.

The new data set, gathered by drug-harm reduction organisation Know Your Stuff NZ in collaboration with the NZ Drug Foundation, shows a very significant 30 percent of drugs purchased for use at 2016/17 summer festivals didn't turn out to be what the buyer thought.

Kiwi MDMA, LSD users being conned - study
Photo credit: Know Your Stuff NZ.

While that's a major proportion of drug users being conned into taking different substances, it actually represents a marked improvement on previous years. In 2015/16, more than half of drugs purchased were different to what people anticipated and the summer before that, it was a very concerning 80 percent.

However the most recent set of data shows there's been a disturbing rise in people being sold cathinones, also known as bath salts, instead of MDMA. The data shows nine out of ten people who had bath salts on them didn't realise that's what they'd bought.

Those who thought they were buying MDMA actually ended up with bath salts about 20 percent of the time, while other MDMA dealers were handing out party pills, amphetamines and aspirin as substitutes. In 70 percent of cases, when people thought they were buying MDMA, they were correct.

Similarly, about 20 percent of drugs being sold under the guise of LSD were actually different drugs - including about 6 percent which ended up being the hugely dangerous N-bomb.