Warning over triple-strength pingers in the mix at NZ New Year events

The drug-testing organisation KnowYourStuffNZ has issued an advisory around potent MDMA pills in circulation this summer.

High-dose ecstasy is in circulation ahead of New Year’s Eve, according to KnowYourStuffNZ. Their testing operations have identified the MDMA pills already this season, and says they’re “likely to be found around the country over the holiday period”.

According to the group, which tests drugs at events to check their safety and potency but does not endorse use, advises: “These pills should be approached with caution. Users are advised that the only way to guarantee safety is to not take them. For those who do choose to take them, our recommendation is to only take a third of a pill at most, and wait at least an hour before considering taking any more.”

The pills in question have been found to contain MDMA “and a variety of fillers”, says KnowYourStuff.

“One type of pill (Pink Mitsubishis) also contains caffeine. Combining stimulants such as MDMA and caffeine can increase the risk of heart problems and psychosis. No other psychoactives have been detected in the listed pills.”

The advisory continues: “A common dose of MDMA is around 80-120 milligrams, depending upon a user’s body weight. These pills contain up to three doses in a single pill. We recommend weighing your doses wherever possible.

“Taking too much MDMA can result in a very unpleasant experience, health risks, and sometimes even death. If you or someone you know has taken one of these pills and experiences dizziness and vomiting, a sharp rise in body temperature, muscle cramping, heart palpitations, seizures, or unconsciousness, seek medical attention immediately.”

The group, whose operations have attracted controversy in recent years but is increasingly being supported across the political spectrum, notes: “The amount of MDMA present is an estimate only as our technology cannot directly measure dosage or purity. The spectrometer can provide a rough percentage of MDMA content in a sample and we use this combined with the weight of the pill to reach these estimates. The estimated dosage should be treated as an indication only and we recommend always erring on the side of caution.”

It adds: “The pills shown are just what KYSNZ have tested. We’ve seen other variants in the past and there’s very likely others in circulation. If you can, get any pressed pill tested this summer and if you can’t, the safest course of action (apart from not taking it) is to dose assuming it’s one of these until you can gauge the effects.

The pills suspected to contain high dosage are as follows:

Blue New Yorker

Light blue/turquoise, round, quite thick, NY logo on front, dividing line on reverse.

Weight: 370mg.

Estimated to contain 250-300mg MDMA.

1 square= 1cm2. Image: KnowYourStuffNZ.

White CNN

White, rectangular with rounded corners, CNN logo on front.

Weight: 450mg.

Estimated to contain 300mg MDMA.

Pink Mitsubishi

Pink, round, quite thick, Mitsubishi logo on front, plain on reverse.

Weight: 530mg.

Estimated to contain  250-300mg MDMA.

Warning: this pill also contains an estimated 90mg of caffeine. This is the equivalent of about 2 strong cups of coffee and will add to the stimulant effect of these pills and increase the risk of heart problems or stimulant-induced psychosis.

Blue Punisher

Light blue, triangular with 2 corners cut off, Punisher logo on front, dividing line on reverse.

Weight: 490mg.

Estimated to contain 300mg MDMA.

Yellow Ironman

Bright yellow, oval, Ironman logo on front, dividing line vertical on reverse

Weight: 430mg

Estimated to contain 250mg MDMA.

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