The substance found and alerted by KnowYourStuffNZ in testing earlier this month, previously known only as C86, has now been identified as eutylone.
Eutylone, also known as bk-EBDB or n-ethylbutylone, is a stimulant in the cathinone family (sometimes called “bath salts”). It was first synthesised in the 1960s and first reported to European Early Warning Systems in 2014. Reports of recreational use began to appear about 2 years ago.
KnowYourStuffNZ detected the first sample of this substance in December 2018. We have detected five samples of eutylone this year, in locations from upper North Island to lower South Island. All were obtained as MDMA, and were described as a white powder that tends to clump together – however it may also be around in other formats. Anecdotal reports from NZers who have used this substance thinking it was MDMA suggest it may be responsible for several hospitalisations.
In the absence of a spectrometer, reagents can be used to test for the presence of eutylone. Testing with the Marquis reagent will give a yellow/orange colour, and the Mandelin reagent turns a muddy greenish-brown. Meanwhile 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.
Eutylone is not well researched and very little information about it is available. The following information has been put together from a combination of user reports, safety data sheets, and references in scientific journals.
Oral doses of between 35mg and 150mg have been reported, however the average dose is reported as 60-100mg. 150mg was described as ‘very intense’.
The effects are described as subtle, calming, social, serotonergic (loved up), euphoric, and not particularly stimulating.
Sensations of physical warmth and tingling were described in several reports. One user reported feeling unusual heart activity.
Users reported redose compulsion, with most redosing every 1-2 hours. Because this is a stimulant, repeated redosing can lead to restlessness and insomnia, and eventually psychosis if the user does not sleep.
Safety Data Sheet information suggests it may be irritating to mucous membranes.
Users have reported raised heartbeats, and as it constricts blood vessels this substance can also raise blood pressure and cause numb or cold extremities.
Eutylone has been identified as present in one death in the US, however the victim had also taken fentanyl and thus the role of eutylone in the death is not clear.
Harm reduction information
Avoid snorting this substance.
Avoid taking with other stimulants (eg cocaine or MDMA), dissociatives (eg ketamine, DXM, or GHB/GBL), or alcohol.
If you intend to take eutylone, be aware that it is a very new substance with little confirmed information available, and therefore approach with extreme caution. Take only a fraction of the expected dose and wait at least an hour before taking more.
Always make sure a trusted person knows what you are doing.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, racing heart, or numbness in the extremities, seek medical help and be honest about what you have taken.
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