Harm reduction behaviours and harm experiences of people who use 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in Aotearoa New Zealand

Original research
Whelan, Jai, Geoff Noller & Ryan D. Ward

Release Date



New Zealand

Language of Resource


Full Text Available


Open Access / OK to Reproduce


Peer Reviewed



We aimed to address the gap in literature pertaining to MDMA-related harm reduction behaviour and harm experiences within the country.

Findings/Key points

Those who reported experiencing harm (physical, psychological, spiritual, social) from MDMA, or another drug presumed to be MDMA, reported less frequent harm reduction behaviours than non-harmed consumers. Of KnowYourStuffNZ clients, 95.9% reported learning about harm reduction, and 53.3% reported changing their behaviour because of the service. Reasons for not using the KnowYourStuffNZ service were primarily lack of availability in local area (32.8%) or at relevant events (51.8%), and lack of concern with substance quality (29.8%). MDMA harm was reported by 14.4% of the sample, whilst reported harm was more common from consumption of presumably non-MDMA substances, self-reported as being mistaken for MDMA. Harm was primarily physical or psychological. Potential MDMA dependence was apparent in 6.9% of the sample.


An online survey (915 respondents) was used to assess the harm reduction behaviours (e.g., limiting consumption, planning use, seeking information) of people who use MDMA, in addition to their use of reagent testing and the major national drug checking and harm reduction service, KnowYourStuffNZ.


About PWUD
Harm reduction