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    • Wellington

The ketamine analogue 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE was found in two samples of white powder/crystal sold as ketamine in the Wellington region.

2 Fluoro 2 Oxo PCE WEB EDIT
How to identify the drug
  • White
  • Powder/crystal

This notification is to let you know that the ketamine analogue 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE (also known as 2F-NENDCK, CanKet) was found in two samples of white powder/crystal sold as ketamine in the Wellington region. There are concerns people consuming this substance believing it to contain ketamine, are at risk of experiencing undesired or unexpected effects.

Ketamine analogues are a group of drugs synthesised to be similar to the dissociative anaesthetic ketamine. Although structurally similar, ketamine analogues, such as 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE, can produce unexpected and unpredictable effects. This can be very distressing for people not anticipating these effects and may lead to harm.

This substance is believed to be widely circulating in the Wellington region and may possibly be present in other regions. Never assume that what you have is the same as what you are being told it is. Misrepresentation can occur anywhere along the supply chain.

High Alert strongly recommends people have their drugs checked to help minimise the risk. Drug checking services can identify when a substance is not what it has been sold as. Find upcoming clinics at The Level.

If you or someone you know takes a substance and begins to feel unexpected effects, call 111 immediately. Be honest about your drug use, you won’t get in trouble, and it could save your life.

If you have heard of any reports of this drug, please let us know! The alert ID is N24/0042. All submissions are anonymous.

How to recognise the drug

Two samples of presumed ketamine were brought into a New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme (DISC) clinic in Wellington. Further analysis on these samples were conducted by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR), which determined one sample to contain 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE, and no actual ketamine, while the other contained a mixture of ketamine and 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE.

The samples were a white powder/crystal and were sold as ketamine. You can't tell the difference between ketamine and ketamine analogues based on appearance. As mixtures of ketamine and ketamine analogues have been detected, reagent testing alone won't be able to rule out the presence of analogues. 

Ketamine analogues have not been researched extensively, and there is very little information available on the safety and effects of these substances. 

While ketamine analogues are synthesised to produce a similar effect to ketamine, analogues typically have differing effects, potency, and onset time. For 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE, a dose may take up to 2 hours before the effects are felt. This means that a person taking this substance thinking it is ketamine may inadvertently take an unknown number of doses, increasing the risk of undesired, or unexpected effects.

Some reported effects of 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE include:

  • A longer ‘K hole’ effect
  • More intense feelings of intoxication
  • Little to no feelings of euphoria or introspection
  • Strong visual disturbances
  • Greater feelings of disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Long duration (up to 4-6 hours)

You can read more about some of the reported effects of 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE here.

How to reduce harm from the drug

Taking ketamine analogues such as 2-Fluoro-2-Oxo-PCE can lead to undesired or unexpected effects, and possibly distressing experiences for some people. High Alert recommends taking substances to a drug checking clinic to help minimise the risk.

KnowYourStuffNZ, the New Zealand Drug Foundation and the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme run regular drug checking clinics. Information on upcoming clinics, including those coming up in the Wellington region, can be found on The Level.

If you choose to use this substance: 

  • Avoid using alone. Have a friend who can help, and call an ambulance if things go wrong. Use a buddy system if needed - where someone is on the phone or calls you to check you are ok.
  • Avoid using it at the same time as other substances, especially other depressant drugs such as alcohol, opioids, GHB/GBL, and benzodiazepines. These can increase the dangerous depressant respiratory effects of substances (for example, slowing or stopping breathing).
  • Lower doses are less risky. Take less than you would for ketamine, as an analogue has an unknown dose quantity and may feel comparatively much stronger comparatively.
  • Avoid redosing. Redosing may not give a more desirable effect and may lead to unintended effects (for example, a long and intense dissociation or a long ‘K-hole’ effect).

High doses of ketamine can make a person unable to move or speak. They might feel like they're out of their body or somewhere else.

If someone might be experiencing a k-hole, check that they are okay.

See if they respond when you talk to them loudly or tap their collarbone. Overdoses from other drugs can look similar to a k-hole. If they are k-holing, they are likely to be able to open their eyes and move them. They may be able to blink if you ask them to. Call 111 if they do not respond or if you think they may be overdosing on another drug.

If they are experiencing a k-hole:

  • Put them in the stable side position if they don't respond.
  • Reassure them that you are there and keeping an eye on them.
  • If possible, create some privacy.
  • Regularly check that they are still breathing.
  • Call 111 if they are having difficulty breathing or their breathing stops.

Call 111 and ask for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else has any of the below signs after taking this substance. Tell them what you have, or what you think you have taken, you won’t get in trouble, and it could save a life.

  • Feeling extremely agitated, anxious, paranoid, or manic for longer than 15 minutes
  • Tremors, convulsions, or seizures
  • Losing consciousness
  • Difficulty breathing or breathing stops
  • Chest pain

Stay safer by staying informed. Sign up to receive alerts and notifications about any dangerous drugs in NZ. Check out the alerts page to see what we've already found.

The National Poisons Centre is available 24/7 to help members of the public and healthcare professionals with clinical advice for exposures to this, or any other substance - please call 0800 764 766 (0800 POISON).

Are you concerned about your own drinking or drug taking? Reach out to the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or text 8681. You'll be able to speak with a trained counsellor who can provide you with helpful information, insight and support. They’re available 24/7, all calls are free and confidential.

You can also chat to the Alcohol Drug Helpline team online through the website, or:

  • Call the Māori Line on 0800 787 798 for advice and referral to kaupapa Māori services.
  • Call the Pasifika Line on 0800 787 799 for advice and referral to services developed for Pacific people.
  • Call the Youth Line on 0800 787 984 for advice and referral to services for young people.