• Notification Icon Notification
  • Synthetic Hallucinogens Icon Synthetic Hallucinogens
  • Synthetic Hallucinogens Icon
    • Dunedin

2C-B has been detected in a pinkish/purple powder presumed to be MDMA in the Dunedin area

How to identify the drug
  • Pinkish/purple colour
  • Powder

This notification is to let you know that 2C-B has been detected in a pinkish/purple powder presumed to be MDMA in the Dunedin area. 2C-B is part of a group of synthetic drugs that have both stimulant and hallucinogenic effects.

2C-B dosages are far smaller than the typical MDMA dose, meaning people consuming this substance believing it to be MDMA could inadvertently consume multiple doses of 2C-B. 2C-B has a significantly different nature and intensity of effects depending on the dose and route of administration. This can be very distressing for people not anticipating these effects, and may lead to harm. These effects can last from 2 to 8 hours.

The powder is believed to be circulating in the Dunedin area and may possibly be present in other regions. The concern is that people may already have this substance believing it to be MDMA, or that this substance may continue to be sold as MDMA. It is important to never assume that what you have is what you are being told it is. Misrepresentation can occur anywhere along the supply chain.

High Alert urges caution and strongly recommends getting your drugs checked. Drug checking services can help identify when a substance is not what it has been sold as. Find upcoming clinics at The Level

If you have heard of any reports of this drug, please let us know! The alert ID is N24/0043. All submissions are anonymous.

How to recognise the drug

Separate samples of presumed MDMA were brought into drug checking clinics in Dunedin run by the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme (DISC) this week. Drug checkers determined the samples contained 2C-B.

The samples were a pinkish/purple powder and were presumed to be MDMA. The powder is present in Dunedin and possibly other regions.

2C-B is dosed in smaller quantities than MDMA, with active doses less than a quarter of a common MDMA dose. At high doses 2C-B is a powerful hallucinogenic. Additional adverse effects can include anxiety or paranoia, and a racing heart.

2C-B has been implicated in harm internationally, especially when used in combination with other substances which can cause unpredictable and unpleasant effects. Particularly dangerous combinations to avoid include cannabis, amphetamines, cocaine, MAOIs, 5-MeOs, mescaline, NBOMes, tramadol and AMT.

Some reported effects of 2C-B include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Altered perceptions
  • Paranoia or anxiety
  • Feeling energised and alert
  • Increased empathy and connection with others
  • Euphoria
  • Restlessness/agitation
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Sweating or chills
  • Dehydration
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

You can find out more about this substance, including its reported effects and information about safer dosing, here.

How to reduce harm from the drug

Taking 2C-B can lead to undesired or unexpected effects and possibly distressing experiences for some people. High Alert urges caution and recommends taking substances to a drug checking clinic to help minimise the risk.

KnowYourStuffNZ, the New Zealand Drug Foundation and the New Zealand Needle Exchange Programme run regular drug checking clinics. Information on upcoming clinics, including those coming up in the Wellington region, can be found on The Level.

If you can’t get to a drug checking clinic, use a reagent test to check your substance. Marquis, Mandelin, Mecke and Froedhe reagents will turn black if there is any amount of MDMA present, and will turn yellow/green with 2C-B.

If you choose to use this substance: 

  • Lower doses are less risky – a usual dose for MDMA can have between 4 and 10 doses of 2C-B in it. Start off with a small amount to check how it affects you.  
  • In general, swallowing a substance has a slower onset than other methods and means there might be more time to get medical help if needed. 
  • Avoid using it at the same time as other substances, especially cannabis and other stimulants. 
  • Avoid using alone. Have a buddy who can help, and call an ambulance, if things don’t feel right. 
  • Consider your mindset and setting. Your mindset and the environment you are in can significantly affect your experience on psychedelics. If you are feeling anxious or depressed before taking 2C-B, you are more likely to have an unpleasant experience. High stimulus settings can quickly become overwhelming.

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
  • Feeling paranoid or manic 
  • Distressing hallucinations
  • A very fast beating heart 
  • Tremors, convulsions, or seizures 
  • Suicidal thoughts

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.

The National Poisons Centre is available 24/7 to help members of the public and healthcare professionals with clinical advice for exposures to this, or any other substance - please call 0800 764 766 (0800 POISON).

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.