New cathinone being sold as MDMA

In a further example of 2021 being a pain in the arse, last month’s Dunedin KnowYourStuffNZ drug checking day turned up dimethylpentylone being sold as MDMA. Thanks. We hate it.

We found it in a pink Playboy pill, but it is also found as a white crystal, so definitely get both forms of your gear tested. Remember, cathinones come in all shapes and colours, so you can’t tell whether something is a cathinone or not just by looking.

What we know about dimethylpentylone so far

It’s new to Aotearoa New Zealand, but has been seen overseas

This is the first time we’ve seen dimethylpentylone here. It’s been seen in the US, but is super rare and there’s not much information on what it does or how potent it is.

It’s most closely related to N-ethylpentylone and pentylone

N-ethylpentylone was the winner of Crap Drug of Summer 2018 and had an honourable mention in Crap Drug of Summer 2019. We do see pentylone but it’s not super common.

Neither of these synthetic cathinones have a great reputation. They’re stimulants, so they’ll boost your energy levels for a wee bit, but the peak wears off quickly.

They also have a high redose compulsion and can make you agitated, give you insomnia, and at the extreme end, give you insomnia-induced psychosis, paranoia, and jack your heart rate up to a dangerous level.

As dimethylpentylone is in the same branch as these two in the synthetic cathinone family, you might feel similar effects if you take it by accident. We don’t know the effects of dimethylpentylone for sure, so we’d rather you proceed with caution.

The standard dose for both N-ethylpentylone and pentylone is 20-40mg, so it would be wise to treat dimethylpentylone as potentially having similar potency.

Harm reduction tips

  1. Come to us and get your gear checked. Run it through the spec and make sure it’s what it should be before you take it. If you can’t make it to one of our checking events, a reagent test, while not as accurate, is better than nothing at all and will tell you if your ‘MDMA’ has been substituted for a cathinone.
  2. Start low and go slow. Take half or less of your dose and wait for at least an hour. If it hasn’t kicked in, or you’re only feeling it in a weak kinda way, chances are that it’s not MDMA you’ve got and you should absolutely not take the rest.
  3. Avoid redosing. I know, we’re killjoys. But seriously, if the clusterfuck that was the eutylone outbreak last summer has taught us anything, if your ‘MDMA’ feels weak and wears off quickly, don’t take more of it.
  4. If you do start having a negative experience, find somewhere quiet and calm to wait it out. Remember, it only lasts as long as the drug’s in your system, and it will be ok in the end. Stay hydrated, eat snacks, and rest your body, even if you can’t sleep.
  5. If you experience a seizure, have extreme ongoing anxiety, have chest pain or racing heart, get medical attention ASAP.

Love yourself. Don’t put shit drugs in your system.

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