A drug testing service is warning that a dangerous chemical is being sold as MDMA in New Zealand.
KnowYourStuff says they've found eutylone at every event they've tested drugs at so far this season. They describe the drug on their website as spending "48 hours in misery".
Eutylone is a new cathinone, something often referred to as "bath salts".
Eutylone is "particularly risky" because it looks like MDMA and it also initially feels like a weak version of the drug.
"It produces some euphoria which fades after the first hour. Users thinking they have [taken] MDMA may think it is just weak MDMA and be tempted to take more," KnowYourStuff says.
Higher doses of eutylone have been linked with intense and potentially dangerous situations.
Since eutylone is a new substance, KnowYourStuff says they don't have information on the recommended dosage, but users have reported experiencing effects at 35mg.
However, if someone believes they have MDMA and weigh out MDMA-sized doses - which is "typically 100mg" - they risk taking a "dangerous" amount of eutylone.
A KnowYourStuff client reportedly took 250mg of eutylone and felt "poisoned" and spent "48 hours in misery", staring at the ceiling being unable to sleep.
Since eutylone and MDMA are "indistinguishable" by eye, a drug test is the only way to confirm which substance it is.
"KnowYourStuffNZ’s advice about eutylone is to approach with extreme caution," their website says.
"Not enough is known about this substance to provide specific harm reduction information, so we recommend avoiding where possible, and if you do intend to take it, take a very small amount and wait at least an hour before considering having more."
If someone feels unwell or has stimulant-type symptoms such as a racing heart, elevated temperature or extreme anxiety, KnowYourStuff recommends they seek medical attention.