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MDMA

Auckland

0013 FOR WEB
How to identify the drug
  • Pale brown crystalline powder
  • Sold in powder form
  • Usually ingested in capsules

The toxic chemical methylenedianiline is being sold as MDMA in Auckland. This chemical has been linked to several poisoning cases in Auckland where the patients have suffered liver damage.

High Alert strongly urges people not to take this substance at all. It does not have the effects of MDMA and taking it can lead to severe harm.

While no drug use is always the safest drug use, testing of any MDMA is recommended to minimise the risk. KnowYourStuffNZ is running a drug testing clinic in Auckland this Sunday.

A sample of the substance was tested by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR). On analysis, it was found to contain methylenedianiline. The symptoms reported by patients in Auckland are consistent with previous cases of methylenedianiline ingestion.

If you have heard of any reports of this substance, please let us know through the Report unusual effects page, the alert ID is N20/0013. All submissions are anonymous.

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How to recognise symptoms of the drug

Methylenedianiline is a well-known liver toxin and is listed as a "substance of very high concern" by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). It is non-psychoactive and is used in the production of polyurethanes.

Limited information if available on the effects if methylenedianiline on people's health. The available information shows that it can cause skin irritation and liver damage, as well as abdominal pain. Other symptoms can include vomiting, fever, or jaundice.

Symptoms can occur within 24 hours after taking the substance, but some signs like jaundice or fever may only start up to 7 days or more after ingestion.

How to reduce harm from the drug

High Alert strongly urges people not to take this substance at all. It does not have the effects of MDMA and taking it can lead to severe harm.

While no drug use is always the safest drug use, testing of any MDMA is recommended to minimise the risk. KnowYourStuffNZ is running a drug testing clinic in Auckland this Sunday.

The concern is that the substance will continued to be sold as MDMA. It is unknown how widespread the circulation of this powder is.

We will provide further updates as more information becomes available.

The National Poisons Centre is available 24/7 to provide further advice for exposures to this, or any other substance - please call 0800 764 766 (0800 POISON).

If you have heard of any reports of this substance, please let us know through the Report unusual effects page, the alert ID is N20/0013. All submissions are anonymous.

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 and confidential.

You can also chat to the Alcohol Drug Helpline team online through the website, or:

  • Call the Māori Line on 0800 787 798 for advice and referral to kaupapa Māori services.
  • Call the Pasifika Line on 0800 787 799 for advice and referral to services developed for Pacific people.
  • Call the Youth Line on 0800 787 984 for advice and referral to services for young people.