New cathinone N-Ethylheptedrone detected
How to identify the drug
- Described as a white powder
- Usually consumed orally
High Alert has received information about the presence of N-Ethylheptedrone. This is a cathinone – a stimulant of the khat plant – and has never previously been found in New Zealand.
Note: The image is an international example and not the sample found in NZ.
How to recognise symptoms of the drug
The toxicity and long-term health effects of N-Ethylheptedrone have not been studied in any scientific context and the exact toxic dosage is unknown. It’s likely to have a low active dose – which can be hard to measure and dangerous if you think it’s something else.
The physical effects are also unknown but are likely similar to other cathinones:
- High blood pressure, rapid heart rate
- Inability for body to regulate temperature
- Appetite suppression
- Compulsive redosing
- Loss of consciousness
There is currently no information on N-Ethylheptedrone’s negative health risks, long-term side effects, or lethal dosage, which makes its use riskier than the use of more common, well-studied substances.
If you have heard of any reports of this drug, please let us know through the Report unusual effects page, the alert ID is N20/0003. All submissions are anonymous.
More general information on synthetic cathinones is available through the NZ Drug Foundation.
What to do in an emergency
If someone falls unconscious after taking a synthetic cathinone, they could die.
- Ask loudly if they’re ok. Shake them gently.
- If they aren’t responsive, dial 111 and ask for an ambulance.
- Check they’re breathing and place them in a stable side position. If they aren’t breathing, start chest compressions.
Always call an ambulance if someone:
- is unconscious;
- stops breathing;
- has a seizure;
- is extremely agitated for longer than 15 minutes;
- has chest pain or breathing difficulties for longer than 5 minutes.
Are you concerned about your own drinking or drug taking? Reach out to the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or text 8681. You'll be able to speak with a trained counsellor who can provide you with helpful information, insight and support. They’re available 24/7, all calls are free confidential.