KnowYourStuff tested 161 drug samples during Flo and O Week in Dunedin, according to a preliminary report on their testing service in Dunedin.
This is an increase on samples tested in previous years. During Re O last year, KnowYourStuff tested only 91 samples.
Of the 161 samples, 76% were presumed to be MDMA. Only 37.3% were actually MDMA. Last year during Re O, 80% of samples presumed to be MDMA were actually MDMA.
Wendy from KnowYourStuff noted that these numbers were not final, as the final report “takes some time to collate”.
“While these figures look kind of alarming, they are consistent with what we found on the first day of testing prior to the start of O Week, and don't in our opinion warrant any updates to the current alerts,” Wendy said. “We found one pill that could be considered high dose MDMA, and a number of pills that contained no psychoactive [component] at all.”
“While these figures look kind of alarming, they are consistent with what we found on the first day of testing prior to the start of O week, and don't in our opinion warrant any updates to the current alerts,” Wendy said.
64% of what was presumed to be MDMA was actually cathinones. The cathinones were mainly eutylone, which can be dangerous, but there was also mephedrone. However, KnowYourStuff noted that “mephedrone is similar in dose and risk profile to MDMA and is something people sometimes seek out, so we haven't put out an alert about this. This figure is reflective of mephedrone found in the South Island in general.”
A fourth year student reckoned these results were “not surprising”. “Bath salts [synthetic cathinones] are everywhere at the moment,” they said. KnowYourStuff’s guidance recommends that people should not use the term “bath salts” to describe synthetic cathinones, because it is vague about what the substances are.
The numbers are not out yet on how many people would take substances regardless of the test result.