Warning issued after substance sold as LSD is actually more dangerous drug

  • 18/01/2023
Warning issued after substance sold as LSD is actually more dangerous drug
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The Drug Foundation warns a substance circulating that has been sold as LSD is actually a more dangerous drug.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, it said drug-checking services at the Hawke's Bay Rhythm and Vines (RnV) music festival over New Years found paper tabs sold as LSD were in fact the potent psychedelic and stimulant 25B-NBOH.

Secondary testing by ESR this week determined the tabs contained 25B-NBOH. It was found on tabs of different colours and patterns and had come from more than one region. 

With LSD, or acid, being generally regarded as a lower-harm substance, Drug Foundation executive director Sarah Helm said people should be aware 25B-NBOH is circulating on tabs misrepresented to be LSD.

"Because this is a relatively new drug, there isn't much known about its toxicity, but we can take clues from similar drugs, such as 25I-NBOMe, which has caused hospitalisations and deaths worldwide," said Helm. 

"25B-NBOH can be active even at very tiny doses, so it's difficult to dose accurately and may increase your risk of overdose."  

She said this revelation proved the worth of having drug-checking services at festivals. 

"However, we are very concerned there are likely to still be quantities of this drug in the community. It's one we're particularly concerned about so we're asking people to proceed with caution if planning to take tabs that they've bought as LSD."

Also identified at RnV were known synthetic cathinones: cyputylone, dimethylpentylone, eutylone and n-ethylpentylone.

"One of the perils of drugs being banned rather than regulated is that it acts as an incentive on the illegal market to create new, novel and more potent substances. We encourage people to get their drugs checked, whether they are tabs, powders or crystals."

The statement said the Drug Foundation checked 748 samples at RnV, with KnowYourStuffNZ also providing services at festivals around the country.