Dubbing this the "summer of cathinones", Know Your Stuff's Dr Jez Weston said there has been a massive uptick in the amount of the substances detected.
"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," Weston said.
Weston warned that users were re-dosing with the drug, which offers a shorter "high" than MDMA, and then found themselves unable to sleep for days.
"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," Weston said.
"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."Weston said the organization knew of at least two festival goers who needed medical help, one of whom was having seizures.
"The worst outcome is vomiting, convulsions, and possibly death," Weston warned.
He said only a small amount of MDMA was on the market and told users: "If it's not
tested, don't take it."
What is Eutylone?
Eutylone, also known as bk-EBDB or n-ethylbutylone, is a stimulant in the synthetic cathinone family. Developed in the 1960's it is now days turning up as a novel designer drug. The main thing that makes Eutylone particularly risky is it looks almost identical to most street-quality MDMA, but produces a weaker effect. People who think they have taken MDMA often think it’s weak and are tempted to take more, which can lead to an intense, unpleasant and potential dangerous experience. The only way to be sure whether you have Euthylone or MDMA is to get your drugs tested.
What to do if you have taken Euthylone
The main thing is not to take more. Do not re-dose, or combine with alcohol or any other drugs. Drink plenty of water (but not so much that you drown yourself) and have something to eat. If you feel uncomfortable with the sensation have a friend keep you company, lie down and rest it out.
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.Sources: High Alert, Know Your stuff, The NZ Herald, RNZ, Stuff.