One in five of the substances that drug-testers have been checking at Otago University orientation events are not what the user thinks, say those checking illicit recreational drugs.
The testing at O-Week events is a partnership between KnowYourStuff, the Drug Foundation and the university's students association, in a bid to reduce the harm drugs can cause.
Know Your Stuff's project manager Finn Boyle said some people who thought they were buying the party drug MDMA were actually getting something potentially more dangerous.
"Primarily that's been the cathinones class of drugs, which is a really really wide family. And then we've also had a couple of instances of what might be BZPs which is the old compound that was in party pills in the early 2000s."
He said this was also a common finding from testing over the summer holidays.