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Person hospitalized after discovery of synthetic cannabinoid in yellow powder

Kiwi recreational drug users have been warned about a potentially deadly substance found in samples of suspected dimethyltryptamine (DMT) in Auckland and Christchurch.

DMT is a psychedelic drug found in a number of animals and plants that produces effects similar to LSD. It often comes as a crystalline powder that is yellow, white, or off-white in color.

Drug information agency High Alert warned about the drug yesterday, saying some DMT samples contained the synthetic cannabinoid MDMB-4en-PINACA.

This substance has been linked to a hospital admission in Auckland and previous cases of serious harm, including deaths.

The organization became aware of the misrepresentation after a sample was submitted to a New Zealand needle exchange clinic in Christchurch.

Initial testing of the samples indicated the presence of MDMB-4en-PINACA and not DMT. Further analysis by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR) confirmed this.

“It remains unknown how widely this substance is circulating, but please note that it has now been identified in the Auckland and Christchurch regions,” said a statement on the agency’s website.

High Alert strongly urges people not to use unknown yellow powders, and checking medications is recommended to help minimize the risk.

Effects of synthetic cannabinoids can include:

  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • High bloodpressure
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • To attack
  • Tremors
  • Sedation, drowsiness
  • Delayed reaction times
  • Confusion, loss of contact with reality
  • Paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks
  • Loss of consciousness