KYS Alert 301220: Cathinones 1

Drug checking by our partners KnowYourStuffNZ has revealed that eutylone remains a risk this summer.

KnowYourStuffNZ ran testing clinics in Dunedin and Christchurch to coincide with O Weeks in February. 40% of samples tested during one day in Christchurch have turned out to contain eutylone, a dangerous synthetic cathinone. In Dunedin, 45% of samples of what people thought was MDMA turned out to be eutylone. In March, testing in Wellington also revealed the presence of eutylone in 20% of what people presumed was MDMA.

This continues a trend seen over the New Year festival period.

Eutylone has been linked to a number of hospitalisations, and a large number of people have reported having a terrible, scary time, with some feeling unwell up to 10 days later. You cannot tell the difference between MDMA and eutylone based on sight or smell alone.

High Alert strongly urges people not to take eutylone. While no drug use is the safest drug use, testing of any MDMA is recommended to help lower the risks. 

If you cannot get to a drug testing clinic, a reagent test can be used to test for eutylone.

Here’s some more information from KnowYourStuffNZ about this... 

What does it look like?

We have tested eutylone in many different forms this year, including crystals and pressed pills. This week’s testing has identified two pressed pills that contain eutylone only and no MDMA.

Pink Red Bull pill found to contain eutylone

Pink Red Bulls: Pink rectangular pill with rounded corners, just over 1cm long with a Red Bull logo. Weight: 440mg. Estimated to contain 300-350mg of eutylone. This is a dangerous amount of eutylone and we recommend not taking these pills. 

Yellow Red Bulls: Yellow rectangular pill with rounded corners, just over 1cm long with a Red Bull logo. Likely a variation of the pink pill above, possibly as a result of the notifications issued for it. Weight: 419mg. Estimated to contain 200-210mg of eutylone. This is a dangerous amount of eutylone and we recommend not taking these pills. 

Blue Playboy pill found to contain eutylone

Blue Playboys: Round blue pill ~8mm in diameter with a Playboy logo. This pill was not weighed, but the spectrometer came back showing at least 50% eutylone so it is likely this pill contains over 100mg of it.

What does eutylone feel like?

Initially eutylone feels like MDMA – euphoria but that fades after an hour or so. You may think it is weak MDMA and be tempted to take more. Don’t.

We are hearing far too many tales of miserable experiences with eutylone. The tales are all similar with people re-dosing, being unable to sleep, and experiencing anxiety. In some cases, people have had to wait more than 48 hours before they could sleep.

What are the health risks from eutylone?

Not being able to sleep is the best outcome. Other risks include anxiety, headaches, stomach upsets, agitation, and paranoia. We know of at least two people who have needed medical help, one of whom was having seizures. The worst outcome is vomiting, convulsions, and possibly death.

What to do if you have taken eutylone?

If you have taken it, don’t take any more. Rest, eat, and wait it out. Avoid cannabis, alcohol, and caffeine. Definitely don’t try to drive.

If you have a racing heart, elevated temperature, extreme anxiety, numb, tingling, or cold fingers or toes, or haven’t slept for more than 24 hours, don’t wait. Seek medical help.

If you are looking after someone who has taken eutylone, help them to stay calm and remind them that they will just have to wait it out. Staying on the couch and bingeing TV might not sound like an exciting time, but it’s the best thing they can do in this situation.

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This advice has been shared from KnowYourStuffNZ – check out their original alert which includes links to more info about what to do if you’ve accidentally taken eutylone, and cathinones to look out for this summer.

You can find out more about synthetic cathinones and how to stay safe through the NZ Drug Foundation.

If you’re worried about your own drinking or drug taking, you can 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.