Synthetic Cannabinoid misrepresented as DMT
- Synthetic Cannabinoids
Synthetic Cannabinoid MDMB-4en-PINACA has been detected in a yellow powder presumed to be DMT
How to identify the drug
- Yellow powder
This notification is to advise that the synthetic cannabinoid MDMB-4en-PINACA has been detected in a yellow powder presumed to be N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). This powder was linked to a hospitalisation in the Auckland region.
MDMB-4en-PINACA is a potent synthetic cannabinoid which has been linked to serious harm including deaths in New Zealand. DMT is a psychedelic drug that produces effects similar to those of LSD.
It's believed this powder is present in Auckland and possibly other regions, but it's currently unknown how widely this substance it's circulating.
High Alert strongly recommends people be cautious when consuming yellow powders, and drug checking is recommended to help minimise the risk.
KnowYourStuffNZ, the NZ Drug Foundation and NZ Needle Exchange Programme run drug checking clinics across the country to help reduce harm - check the schedule here.
If you or someone you know takes a substance thought to be DMT and starts 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.
How to recognise symptoms from the drug:
MDMB-4en-PINACA was found in two samples containing yellow powder, both of which were presumed to be DMT.
The samples were submitted to a New Zealand Drug Foundation drug checking clinic in Auckland for analysis. Initial testing of the samples indicated the presence of MDMB-4en-PINACA and no DMT. Further analysis by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) confirmed this.
Synthetic cannabinoids can have harmful and unpredictable effects. Immediate effects may include:
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- High blood pressure
- Nausea, or vomiting
- Sedation, drowsiness
- Slowed reaction times
- Confusion, loss of touch with reality
- Paranoia, anxiety, and panic attacks
- Loss of consciousness
You can find our more about synthetic cannabinoids from our mates at The Level.
How to reduce harm from the drug:
MDMB-4en-PINACA is a potent synthetic cannabinoid which has been linked to serious harm, including deaths in New Zealand. MDMB-4en-PINACA has the potential to cause serious harm, as it can lead to overdoses at low concentrations.
MDMB-4en-PINACA is more potent than DMT, meaning that a usual dose of DMT can contain multiple doses of MDMB-4en-PINACA, increasing the risk of serious harm.
The effects of MDMB-4en-PINACA can also be made worse by the consumption of other drugs, including alcohol, a person’s mental health, or the presence of underlying medical conditions.
High Alert strongly urges people not to take any unknown yellow powders, and drug checking is recommended to help minimise the risk.
KnowYourStuffNZ, the New Zealand Drug Foundation and the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme are running regular drug checking clinics across the country – you can find a calendar of upcoming events here.
If you choose to use this substance:
- Lower doses are less risky – start off with a small amount to check how it affects you. This can reduce the chance of overdosing.
- Avoid using alone. Have a buddy who can help, and call an ambulance, if things go wrong.
- Consider where you are using, or use in a safer position (e.g., sit down before using) to reduce the chance of injury if you lose consciousness.
- Avoid using it at the same time as other substances.
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 taken, you won’t get in trouble and it could save your life.
- Feeling extremely agitated, anxious, paranoid, or manic for longer than 15 minutes
- A very fast beating heart
- Tremors, convulsions, or seizures
- Losing consciousness
- Experiencing difficulty breathing or breathing stops
- Experiencing chest pain
If you have heard of any reports of this drug, please let us know through the Report unusual effects page, the alert ID is N23/034. All submissions are anonymous.
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.