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Drug checking providers across the country have recently seen more meth samples that are actually industrial chemicals. Here’s what you need to know...

Drug checking providers across Aotearoa New Zealand have recently noticed more samples of methamphetamine that aren't actually meth at all, but actually contain industrial chemicals, like cyclohexamine.

There is limited information about chemicals like cyclohexamine, including the risk of harm and the impact of consumption on the human body. However, like all chemicals, we recommend not consuming it.

According to our mates at The Level, taking these chemicals are likely to be unpleasant and cause you harm. They are classed as ‘extremely hazardous substances’ and they won’t make you feel high. People who have taken them said they tasted very acidic, while people who have injected them have reported serious vein damage. They look very similar to meth and often come as clear crystals.

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.

How you can stay safer

  • Get your drugs checked before you take them at a free drug checking clinic. KnowYourStuffNZ, the New Zealand Drug Foundation and the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme run regular drug checking clinics across the country – these are free, legal and confidential. Check the calendar here for upcoming clinics.
  • Use reagent tests if you can’t get to a drug checking clinic (these won’t tell you if your meth is mixed with something else, but they will tell you if no meth is present).
  • Lower doses are less risky – consider taking a small ‘tester’ dose and waiting an hour to see how you feel.
  • Avoid using alone. Have a buddy who can help, and call an ambulance, if things don’t feel right.

If you or someone you know experiences unusual or unexpected effects after taking what you thought was meth, please let us know through our report unusual effects page – it can be done completely anonymously. For updates on serious drug harm, please also sign up here to receive our notifications.

Call 111 and ask for an ambulance immediately if you or someone else has any of the below signs after taking meth. Symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Dizziness
  • Sweating
  • Loss of consciousness.

For more information about meth, including information on dosing and comedowns, check out the resources here on The Level.

Where to go for support

The Meth Help Counselling Service offers free, confidential phone support for anyone in New Zealand. Simply call 0800 METH HELP (0800 6384 4357) to talk confidentially about a meth or P related issue or problem. For example, you can get:

  • Advice on how to be safer when using meth
  • Self-help material designed for people who use meth
  • A follow-up service where calls are arranged in advance at a time that suits
  • Brief but involved help with cutting down or stopping
  • Assistance with finding and getting treatment
  • Support to people waiting for face-to-face counselling
  • Support for whānau and friends of someone using meth

The Meth Help Counselling Service is free. It's staffed by trained counsellors from Odyssey House in Christchurch. They are people with a range of experiences including lived experience of methamphetamine and other drugs.

The service is available Monday to Friday with pre-arranged evening availability. If you need assistance on the weekend or after hours, you can reach out the Alcohol Drug Helpline on 0800 787 797, or text 8681. They can arrange for the Meth Help Counselling Service to contact you later. The Alcohol Drug Helpline is available 24/7, and all calls are free and confidential. You can also chat to the team online through the website.