Cathinones being substituted for MDMA could be on the rise.
The last couple of KnowYourStuffNZ drug checking clinics have discovered an increase of people’s “MDMA” either being
- a cathinone with no MDMA in it, or
- a cathinone with just enough MDMA to mask it and spoof reagent tests
We anticipate that this could be the case nationwide, and advise being more cautious than usual when dealing with MDMA this summer.
Cathinones: a shit time for a long time
Known by the press (and no-one else) as ‘bath salts’, cathinones are a family of stimulants that are often sold in place of MDMA. We’ve found them in both pressed pills and in crystal form.
The more common ones that we’ve found in people’s drugs are
We have also on rare occasions found; mephedrone (4-MMC), mexedrone, MDPV, and Alpha-PVP.
Cathinones have the same euphoric onset as MDMA, but it wears off far quicker than MDMA. Because of this, people will often re-dose. This is where they run into trouble.
Cathinones are usually more potent than MDMA. What the person thinks is a manageable amount of MDMA for an adventure can be a dangerous amount of cathinone.
This can lead to anxiety, paranoia, gastric distress, seizures, or respiratory failure. Mephedrone in particular has been linked to a number of deaths in the UK and Europe.
Cathinones have a duration of between 2 and 5 hours, and the after effects generally last in your body between 6 and 24 hours. These after effects can make it very difficult to sleep. Redosing will extend the after-effects. One person who presumed they had weak MDMA and took several doses experienced what they called “48 hours of hell” from what turned out to be eutylone.
Dunno about y’all, but we’ve got better things to do than spend 48 hours staring at the ceiling having anxiety attacks and regretting our life choices.
How do I find out if I’ve got a cathinone?
You come and see us and get your drugs checked, obvs. We do both a reagent test and run a sample through the FTIR so we can tell you whether you’ve got anything horrible in your MDMA.
If you can’t get to one of our drug checking services, you can buy reagent tests from the Hemp Store or Cosmic. They can tell you if your MDMA contains MDMA. They can’t tell you if your MDMA also has things that aren’t MDMA in it like the FTIR spectrometers can, but it’s better than nothing at all.
I think I’ve taken a cathinone, what do?
If you start feeling anxious or sick, or you get the shakes, or you’re short of breath, go to the medics immediately. Tell them what you’ve taken, and how long ago. They won’t judge you and they aren’t narcs — their only concern is making sure you’re safe, and helping you if you aren’t.
Please don’t roll the dice with your drugs this summer. Cathinones are incredibly dangerous, and we’d rather see you regularly in the checking tent summer after summer than in hospital even once. Come and see us soon, eh?