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How does drug checking work?

We teamed up with comedian Janaye Henry to explain the ins and outs of drug checking. It's a simple process that helps you stay safer by finding out what's really in your drugs. 

Overdoses: What to watch out for

Worldwide, the 31st of August is Overdose Awareness Day. We've put together a quick guide on spotting overdoses from a few common drugs, and what you can do to prevent them.

Sex, drugs and staying safer

There are some common effects you may experience while having sex on certain drugs. We go through a few of them - plus tips on how to be safer.

How to use injectable naloxone

What is naloxone? Naloxone is a lifesaving drug that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. It can be used for overdoses from most opioids - including prescription drugs like morphine, fentanyl, and methadone, as well as for illicit drugs like heroin, opium, and other synthetic opioids.

Can't get prescription cannabis? Read this and stay safer

Despite medicinal cannabis being legal in Aotearoa, around a quarter of a million kiwis are buying their medicine from a completely unregulated illegal market, with no quality control whatsoever. We asked two leading experts to share some harm reduction tips to keep them safer.

What a Rush: a short history of poppers in New Zealand

Poppers: you might know these little amber bottles of inhalant as ‘rush’, ‘amyl’ or ‘leather cleaner.’ We're delving into the role of poppers in the gay community, their odd legal status and what to expect if you're using.

How to use fentanyl test strips for powders or pills

Fentanyl is a drug that is often used medically to relieve pain. Only extremely small doses are needed to have an effect and a few micrograms extra can cause an overdose. This is why, if you’re not expecting fentanyl, you might unexpectedly overdose.

What you need to know about High Alert's recent notification

You may have heard about a brown powder – sold as MDMA, that has been linked to some hospitalizations recently (more info on the High Alert website).

Blue meanies and gold tops: Shroom safety tips from an ecologist

It's getting dark early, the days are getting colder, and it’s been raining. If all that rain has you thinking about foraging for magic mushrooms, the first thing we’d tell you is don’t go it alone – find someone who can help identify your shrooms.

A different kinda party: Chemsex 101 

Better known as party ‘n’ play or PNP here in New Zealand, chemsex refers to combining certain drugs with sex, and is associated pretty exclusively with men who have sex with men.  

What to expect when you visit a needle exchange

Here’s what to expect if you’re heading to a New Zealand needle exchange outlet for the first time.  

Drug checking: what to expect

So you've got yourself a baggie of [insert your drug of choice here], but you want to make sure your drug is what you think it is: that's where drug checking comes in.

If it's not MDMA, what is it?

A quick run-down on all the stuff that's pretending to be MDMA but isn't. Last summer, 31% of drugs sold as 'MDMA’ that were checked by KnowYourStuffNZ weren't MDMA, or were a mix of MDMA and something else.

Making changes to your cannabis use

This information was originally shared on PotHelp, a previous version of this site.  You can watch more personal stories from people who have cut down on their cannabis use here.  You can also order a free copy of our workbook on cutting down your cannabis use.

How to use reagents to test MDMA

Summer is here! And while we are all hoping that we won’t have a repeat of the 2020/21 ‘Summer of Crap Drugs’ we know there are still plenty of things sold as MDMA that are, well, not MDMA.

How to use Ehrlich's reagent to test LSD

Drug checking using reagent tests can help you find out if your LSD is what you think it is.  

Why should I test my LSD? LSD, acid, or tabs are nicknames for the hallucinogenic drug lysergic acid.

Summer drugs: what we know, and how to be safer 

Festival season in New Zealand is about to ramp up. But at UK festivals this year, a lot of people had drugs that weren’t what they thought they’d bought. Find out more about the drugs we might see - like MDMA, cathinones (bath salts) and more.

Picnic trips: Using drugs outdoors

If you’re planning on using drugs outside on those long summer days, here are a few things to keep in mind. 

Meth and COVID-19: How to be safer

We spoke to experts and looked at the latest research to bring you the straight up information on Covid-19 and methamphetamine.

High-minded: how mental health can affect your high

For Mental Health Awareness Week, we talked to Phil Glaser, one of the team behind The Level, about how your state of mind has a bigger impact on your trip than you might think.

How to use Nyxoid to reverse an opioid overdose

“We got our hands on naloxone to keep at our house, but it was too late, we’d already lost a friend. We kept thinking, if only we had it a few days earlier… if only we knew.

Popping the bubble: Quick tips if you're choosing to use drugs in Level 2

It can be a bit weird adjusting back to life outside your bubble, so we’ve pulled togther a few key tips to help you out if you choose to use drugs.

Calling an ambulance during lockdown - advice from a paramedic

Wondering what happens if you need an ambulance during lockdown? Blake Murray from St John answers your questions.

Advice from people who have used during lockdown

Thinking about using drugs during lockdown? Here are some practical tips from people who did.

Advice from the NZ Needle Exchange

Lockdown can be a really challenging time for people that inject drugs regularly. Here's some advice on how to look after yourself and be safer.

Opioid treatment during lockdown

Need opioid treatment during lockdown? Here's how to access support and some tips to be safer.

What are reagent tests?

Learn about reagent tests and how they can tell you what is in your drugs.

What are fentanyl test strips?

Learn about fentanyl test strips and how they can help you avoid an overdose.

How to do a sinus flush

Follow these steps to rinse out your sinuses and get rid of things that can cause irritation.

Thinking about your drug use

Anna, Andre, Hera, and Cynthia share some things to think about when looking at your substance use in this short video made during the April 2020 lockdown for Covid-19.

Talking with someone about their drug use

Anna, Andre, Hera, and Cynthia share some tips on how to talk with someone about their substance use in this short video made during the April 2020 lockdown for Covid-19.