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Make sure you’re staying safer this festival season by staying in the know about any dangerous substances on the scene.

Our main goal here at High Alert is to make sure you know about any dangerous substances out in the community, so you can keep yourself and your friends safer.

It’s important to be aware of what’s available out there if you are taking any kind of substance. For example, it’s common for substances that are meant to be MDMA to actually be another drug, or mixed with different substances like synthetic cathinones, known as ‘bath salts’. These other drugs may be different in strength, have different effects, and may take longer to have an effect which could lead to re-dosing and an increased chance of overdose.

If we find out there’s something out there being sold as MDMA but that’s actually something especially dangerous, or mixed with something else, we’ll let you know which helps keep you safer.  This year we've already issued notifications about misrepresented MDMA leading to harm in Whanganui, and fentanyl being sold as cocaine in Wairarapa

Get up to speed on all notifications, and get some solid advice on how to stay safer.

All alerts and notifications are published to the website, but to make sure you never miss out on an important update, we encourage you to sign up to receive these updates through email. We’ll only ever email you about dangerous drugs, and nothing else.

Your email address won't be shared with anyone else. You can find out more about how we manage info by checking our Privacy Policy.

While not using drugs is the safest option, there are a couple of other things you can do to help lower the risks, like:

  • Avoid re-dosing as it increases the chance of overdose
  • Avoid mixing with alcohol or other drugs as the effects can be unpredictable and it increases the risk of harm
  • Make sure you have a plan in case of emergency
  • Take regular breaks and check in on your mates

If you think the substance you or a friend took is actually not what you thought it was:

  • Don’t take any more.
  • Don’t take other drugs, or drink alcohol.
  • Seek medical advice.

Always call 111 in case of an emergency. Always tell emergency responders what you’ve taken – you won’t get in trouble and it could save someone’s life.

When you are safe, please tell us about your experience. Let us know if you, or anyone you know, has experienced any unexpected or concerning effects from drugs. This helps with our research into new drugs and trends, and will ultimately help keep others safe. Don’t worry – it’s all entirely confidential, can be done anonymously, and the info won't be used for prosecution!

If you're concerned about your own, or a mate's, substance use, you can contact the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797 or text 8681, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All calls are free and confidential, and you'll be speaking with a trained counsellor who can provide you with helpful information, insight and support. You can also chat to them through the website.