Help, I’ve had eutylone! What do?

Eutylone is definitely this summer’s crap drug. Potentially even the crappiest drug since the N-ethylpentylone boom of 2017.

If you’ve accidentally had eutylone, it’s highly likely that you’ll have a shit time. It’s important to remember that it’s only for a finite time, and you’ll be ok once you ride it out. But you have to ride it out first.

What does eutylone feel like?

A lot of people have described it as feeling like they’ve been poisoned. For most people it’s basically a shit time for a long time.
If you’ve had eutylone, what you’ll probably feel is mild euphoria that is short lived, followed by ongoing stimulation and mild to intense anxiety. It’s likely you won’t be able to sleep that night, and possibly for anywhere up to 3-4 days. You may have a high heart rate with lingering or intensifying anxiety. You might also experience vomiting and/or have diarrhea, tremors, or muscle spasms.

One thing to keep in mind is that the eutylone experience is unpredictable – we’ve heard reports of people having a mild eutylone trip, then trying the same dose again another day and getting the anxiety/insomnia symptoms described above

In extreme cases or if it’s interacted badly with any medication you’re on, you get tingling in your feet and hands, you could have seizures, hallucinate, or have psychotic episodes. Your heart rate might also not slow down, or your symptoms might suddenly get worse. If this happens, you definitely need to see the medics or go to A&E as soon as you can.

Time is on your side

The key thing to remember with eutylone is that the symptoms won’t last forever. The anxiety and insomnia will wear off eventually, you just have to wait. It’s important to take good care of yourself until they do.

You might be tempted to smoke some weed to help bring you down, but we strongly advise against that. Y’know that thing about weed sometimes making folks paranoid? That goes from being a possibility to a definitely, and will make the anxiety you’re experiencing worse. (We did say it was a crap drug…)

The chill space is your friend

If you can get someone to take you home or somewhere safe and familiar for your recovery, do it. Build yourself a little nest on the couch and settle in with some light and fluffy tv. This will distract your brain and keep it from chewing on you while you recover.

If you’re at a festival, find somewhere that’s got a chill, low-key vibe. A lot of festivals have quiet spaces run by PsyCare or DeepSpace that are specifically for people that are having a difficult experience. Those spaces will have comfy couches and sensory toys to help ground you, and volunteers that will give you one-on-one help if you’re having a really difficult time.

Honestly, resting in a quiet place is the best thing that you can do for your brain. It limits the chance of having any unexpected confrontational or overwhelming experiences brought on by randoms.

Image, baby Yoda sleeping in his carrier
Rest, snacks, and non-caffeinated non-alcoholic beverages will have you feeling better in no time. Just be gentle with yourself in the mean time.

Drink some water and have snacks

Eating and drinking are about the last thing you’re going to want to do, but they’ll help you recover quicker.

Having little nibbles of things like nuts, chocolate, fruit, jerky, or muesli bars often over the course of the day will get nutrients into you without overloading your belly and making you want to vomit. You’ll be able to keep your food down better if you have little bits a lot of times. Soup is also a great non-challenging food if you can get it.

Staying hydrated is important, especially if you’ve been vomiting or have diarrhea. Water, fruit juice, or drinks with electrolytes in them are great for recovery. Avoid alcohol. Avoid energy drinks and caffeinated drinks like the plague. They’ll jack your heart rate up, add to your anxiety, and keep you awake for even longer. The longer you stay awake, the higher the likelihood is of having a psychotic episode. Stick to the OJ and you’ll come out ok.

How to help if you’re the sober person for your friends

It’s scary watching your friends go through a eutylone experience, even if it’s a mild one. Things you can do are:

  • Bring your friends to the medics if you’re at a festival, or to A&E if you’re in town. They’re trained to deal with situations like eutylone dosing and won’t narc on you or judge you.
  • Help them make a space where they can ride the experience out. Pillows, blankets, low light, and warmth are all good things to have in their recovery nest.
  • Bring them snacks and drinks when they need them
  • If your friends are getting anxious, breathing exercises can help to calm them down.
    Healthline have some good breathing techniques on their website
    https://www.healthline.com/health/breathing-exercises-for-anxiety
  • Grounding exercises can also help if your friend is having a difficult time. Grounding is a way to get the brain’s attention to focus on something instead of getting caught up in the overwhelming anxiety spiral. Healthline have some great techniques that you can try on their site:
    https://www.healthline.com/health/grounding-techniques

Whether it is you or your friend that is struggling, reassurance can really make all the difference in managing the experience- particularly when it comes to the psychological symptoms. Remind yourself, or them, frequently that the symptoms are coming from the drug, not them. It will pass, they will be OK.

Don’t wait to seek help if you need it.

ALERT: Dangerous cathinones are bloody everywhere this summer

Drug checking by KnowYourStuffNZ is revealing that this is the summer of cathinones. More than half of the samples we have tested at New Year’s festivals have not been MDMA but instead more dangerous stimulants from the cathinones family.

The most common cathinone right now is eutylone. We saw small amounts last year and now there’s heaps of it around. This is a big change and bad news.

We recommend not taking eutylone.

What does eutylone feel like?

Initially eutylone feels like MDMA – euphoria but that fades after an hour or so. You may think it is weak MDMA and be tempted to take more. Don’t.

We are hearing far too many tales of miserable experiences with eutylone. The tales are all similar: “last night I took some, after an hour or so I thought it was wearing off so I took some more, was awake all night, and now it’s midday and I can’t sleep and I feel like shit”. In some cases, people have had to wait more than 48 hours before they could sleep.

What are the health risks from eutylone?

Not being able to sleep is the best outcome. Other risks include anxiety, headaches, stomach upsets, agitation, and paranoia. We know of at least two people who have needed medical help, one of whom was having seizures. The worst outcome is vomiting, convulsions, and possibly death.

What to do if you have taken eutylone?

If you have taken it, don’t take any more. Rest, eat, and wait it out. Avoid cannabis, alcohol, and caffeine. Definitely don’t try to drive.

If you have a racing heart, elevated temperature, extreme anxiety, numb, tingling, or cold fingers or toes, or haven’t slept for more than 24 hours, don’t wait. Seek medical help.

If you are looking after someone who has taken eutylone, help them to stay calm and remind them that they will just have to wait it out. Staying on the couch and bingeing TV might not sound like an exciting time, but it’s the best thing they can do in this situation.

How to tell if you have eutylone or MDMA?

You cannot tell the difference between MDMA and eutylone based on sight or smell alone.

We have tested eutylone in many different forms this season:

  • white powder
  • brown powder
  • light-coloured lumps that look like Turkish Delight
  • brown smelly lumps that look like broken biscuit
  • cream-coloured rocks
  • light blue pills with a Playboy logo
  • round yellow pills with a Spiderman logo front and back
  • blue Superman pills
  • some of the round blue Monster pills (some have tested as MDMA, some as cathinones)

Get your stuff tested before taking it.

"Biscuit crumbs" of eutylone White rock of eutylone Orange brown lumps of eutylone Cream powder of eutylone

Blue Superman Eutylone pill Cream Eutylone rock Round yellow Eutylone pill

We have found cathinones all over the country, not just in specific regions.

KnowYourStuffNZ’s spectrometers can’t be everywhere but reagent tests may help. Most of the eutylone that we have seen has not been mixed with other substances. With the Cosmic EZTest or the Hemp Store Marquis test then cathinones will turn yellow, instead of the black that MDMA gives.

Reagent tests are also not good at telling the difference between cathinones, but the harm reduction advice is the same for all of them – best avoid them.

However, we hear that Cosmic and the Hemp Store are low on stock for their reagent test kits. If you have a spare test kit, look out for everyone else and ask around to see if anyone else needs testing.

Our recommendation

We recommend not taking eutylone.

The people who have been getting in touch with us after (or during) unpleasant experiences also recommend not taking eutylone, probably using stronger language than us.

There’s so much eutylone around right now and so little MDMA that we say that if it’s not tested, don’t take it.

If you do want to take that risk, then take only a small amount, don’t redose, don’t drink alcohol, and consider having at least one sober person with you who you can turn to for help if you need it.

Actual MDMA is pretty scarce at the moment. Maybe we can blame COVID for the lack of MDMA? Whatever the reason, just stay safe out there.

Eutylone report – “I felt poisoned for 48 hours”

KnowYourStuffNZ’s testing at festivals this summer has found that there are still dangerous chemicals being sold as MDMA (as well as a lot of MDMA). 

Know Your Stuff-29

One drug of concern is eutylone, which was described to us as “48 hours of misery”. Eutylone is a new cathinone (sometimes referred to as “bath salts”). KnowYourStuffNZ summarised the available information about eutylone in our warning last year: Cathinone C86 identified as eutylone. We have found eutlyone at every event we’ve attended this season.

Eutylone is particularly risky as it initially feels like weak MDMA. It produces some euphoria which fades after the first hour. Users thinking they have MDMA may think it is just weak MDMA and be tempted to take more. Higher doses have been linked with intense, unpleasant and potentially dangerous experiences.

As eutylone is a very new substance, there is no good information on the recommended dosage. However, users have reported effects at 35 mg. If users are expecting MDMA and weighing out MDMA-sized doses (typically 100 mg), then they risk unknowingly taking a dangerous amount of eutylone.

A KnowYourStuffNZ client did take more – 250 mg in total. They reported feeling “poisoned” and spent 48 hours in misery, staring at the ceiling, unable to sleep.

All of the samples of eutylone we have found 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. 

KnowYourStuffNZ’s advice about eutylone is to approach with extreme caution. Not enough is known about this substance to provide specific harm reduction information, so we recommend avoiding where possible, and if you do intend to take it, take a very small amount and wait at least an hour before considering having more. If you feel unwell, particularly with stimulant-type symptoms such as: racing heart, elevated temperature, or extreme anxiety, seek medical attention.

KnowYourStuffNZ is a not-for-profit social enterprise funded by donations from the community. If you value our work, please donate.

Cathinone C86 identified as eutylone

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.

Dosage:

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’.

Duration

4-6 hours

Effects

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.

Dangers/negatives

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.

Dunedin cathinone capsule

KnowYourStuffNZ is a not-for-profit social enterprise funded entirely by donations from the community. If you value our work, please donate.