Know Your Stuff Finds a Bad Batch of MDMA

Know Your Stuff Finds a Bad Batch of MDMA

“Bro, this is fucked aye”

A bad batch of gear was making the rounds during O-Week, leaving students both impoverished and with severe stomach pains after consumption. On Thursday, Feb 22, Know Your Stuff (with the unfortunate acronym KYS), the national drug-testing agency, issued the warning, “Several samples presented as MDMA in Dunedin have come back as a Novel Synthetic Cathinone or Bath Salts.” For the people who don’t religiously follow licensed drug-testing agencies (probably should if you’re on the nose beers) that may come as a shock.

Gauging the extent of the damage, Critic Te Ārohi spoke to Max Phillips, the KYS co-regional manager. He said that “a group of students were left violently shaking and feeling ‘like death’ after taking synthetic cathinones which were misrepresented as MDMA.” He went on to say that further testing would need to be done to determine what the MDMA was laced with. Lack of information on the substance’s origins means the agency is signalling that the chemicals found within the substance could be more harmful than anything seen before.

Whilst bath salts lowkey get the job done (don’t tell your mates), Know Your Stuff warns that users taking synthetic cathinones can suffer adverse side effects such as hypothermia, abnormal heartbeat, insomnia, and even paranoia in extreme cases. The drug also isn’t on that “I fuckin’ love you so much” level that comes with a cap. When asked if he would do laced MDMA knowingly, one student, Ethan, said, “I wouldn’t do it if I knew they were bath salts […] It’s just stupid.” But regardless, he also said, “I think everyone does it at some point.” 

Ethan’s claims lend themselves to the common temptation for consumption, even after knowing that the substance you’ve bought is bath salts. The scientists at Critic Te Ārohi estimate that a gram of gear sets you back around $200, a price few students would be willing to flush down the drain. Like many people's approach to Covid right now, if you don’t test, there’s no saying it’s anything other than what you paid for.

If you’re opting for the Schroedinger’s cat approach, Know Your Stuff recommends “starting with small amounts, avoid mixing it with other psychoactives, and to look out for the signs of overdose: sharp headache, muscle rigidity, rapid or racing heartbeat, hyper or hypo-thermic body temperature.” 

Some claim their dealers test drugs before sending them out, with one student telling Critic Te Ārohi, “I knew there was something going around but my guy is trustworthy and tests all of his stuff before sending it cause he buys in bulk.” Others weren’t as certain, with one student, Poppy, stating, “It’s pretty dodgy […] it’s so awful doing that sort of thing to us.” They’re still drug dealers, kids.

No more samples of the bath salts have been found since the Thursday of O-Week

This article first appeared in Issue 2, 2024.
Posted 4:50pm Saturday 2nd March 2024 by Monty O’Rielly.