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New Drug Test Could Detect Synthetic Substances

New Drug Test Could Detect Synthetic Substances

Author: Justin Mckibben

We may have an answer to the need for a synthetic substances drug test sooner than later, hopefully in time to save lives.

Flakka is “$5 Insanity” and synthetic marijuana is Spice, K2 or a dozen other names. Synthetic drugs come in crystalized chunks, colorful capsules or even cleverly disguised vape (e-cigarette) juices. They sell all across the country with constantly changing chemical constructs to avoid being detected as the deadly synthetic substances they are.

This new drug test for synthetic substances may not just be cheaper but also more efficient with a great potential to help law enforcement authorities keep up with ever-changing club drugs.

At this point it seems these synthetic substances seem to get reformulated, renamed and repackaged by traffickers to be pushed to the public faster than police can track.

Many of these synthetics are underestimated; some have caused a great deal of devastation leading to illness and even death. Now a new technique for drug testing products could create a huge leap forward for the fight against synthetic substance abuse.

A New Way

In a recent collaboration between researchers in Portugal and Spain a study produced some surprising results that were published in the Journal of Chromatography B. This intellectual alliance of innovation against drug abuse has developed a new drug test which can identify even trace amounts of club drugs in urine and blood plasma.

Why is this such a big deal? Well because up until this discovery there has been no standard drug test capable of detecting ketamine or any other synthetic substances, which has made it desperately difficult to track these kinds of drugs, many of which contain poisonous ingredients. One of the lead authors of the study Dr. Eugenia Gallardo stated:

“These drugs are difficult to analyze—we see a lot of versatility in the molecules and new drugs are appearing almost every month; traffickers are always one step ahead of the authorities,”

Researchers in the study utilized a method called known as gas chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), also commonly implemented in other areas including:

  • Drug detection
  • Fire investigation
  • Environmental analysis

30 minutes is all the new drug test would typically need to be able to identify amounts of ketamine as low as five nanograms per milliliter. Dr. Gallardo went on to note,

“These low limits of detection and the quite high amounts of the compounds extracted from very small samples make this procedure suitable for laboratories performing routine analysis in the field of forensic toxicology,”

He went on to ensure that when put up to the standard of existing drug test techniques the new method is efficient, has a practical real-life application and is faster and more cost effective.

Spotting Synthetics

These days there are hundreds of synthetic substances that find their way to the market and tend to do a fair share of damage before authorities even have a chance to pin-point the product causing the problem. Some synthetic substances have reportedly triggered unpredictable and even fatal results.

This new drug test screening method aims to inform the medical community and law enforcement officials about these often hazardous drugs. Because there is often so little known about these synthetics, initial symptoms or testing may mislead emergency services to believe there is something else wrong, causing more problems when an individual is improperly treated.

It is with great hope that researchers are working to develop the new drug test so that more incidences can be properly assessed and resolved with minimal damage to the user. Synthetic substances are no joke, no matter what form of part drug they come in. Too many people find themselves severely inflicted by the poisons in these drugs, and hopefully new drug test technology will be able to evolve in time to catch up with the rate that more people are being effected.

Synthetic drug abuse is a far greater danger than most people would ever expect, but while the drugs are synthetic the danger is very, very real. Hopefully new this drug test can save some lives, but even then there is more work to be done for real recovery.

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