It belongs to a broader group of drugs called New Psychoactive Substances (NPS). They are also referred to as designer drugs, novel designer drugs, or bath salts.
KnowYourStuffNZ found eutylone at every event they attended during the 2019/20 festival season. At 2020/21 New Year's festivals, more than half of the samples tested by KnowYourStuffNZ were not MDMA, but instead more dangerous stimulants from the cathinones family, with eutylone the most common.
In February 2021, we issued a notification regarding dangerous amounts of eutylone found in pink 'Red Bull' tablets likely being sold as MDMA.
This is part of what makes Eutylone particularly risky – it looks almost identical to most street-quality MDMA, but produces a weaker effect. People who think they have taken MDMA may think it’s just weak and be tempted to take more, leading to intense, unpleasant and potential dangerous experiences.
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As Eutylone is still relatively new, there isn’t a lot of information around safe dosages. Some users have reported experiencing effects at 35mg, with an average dose reported as 60-100mg.
If a user takes Eutylone thinking its MDMA, there is a greater risk of them unknowingly taking a dangerous amount. Because it is a stimulant, high doses can lead to restlessness and insomnia, and eventually psychosis due to lack of sleep.
Eutylone is most commonly available as an off-white powder, but it can also come in crystal, rock, capsule, and tablet forms.
While it’s always safest to not take any illicit drugs at all, testing can help minimise the risk.
All of the samples of eutylone found by KnowYourStuffNZ have been indistinguishable from MDMA by eye, so without testing you cannot be certain you do not have this substance.
Eutylone shows the characteristic cathinone reactions when reagent tested – orange/yellow change with Marquis, and muddy green/brown with Mandelin.
If a substance contains MDMA, both Marquis and Mandelin reagents will turn black. It is important to note that other cathinones have been found mixed with MDMA, so a positive test result for MDMA does not mean a substance is unadulterated.
You can find out more about MDMA and how to stay safe through the NZ Drug Foundation.
If you have any concerns about your own drinking or drug taking, get in touch with the Alcohol Drug Helpline Call 0800 787 797, or text 8681, to speak with a trained counsellor – they’ll be able to provide you with helpful information, insight and support. They’re available 24/7, all calls are free and confidential.
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