Monitoring Changes in the Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) Market Through Enhanced Identification of Emerging Drugs and Their Metabolites in Biological Samples   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Electronic dance music (EDM) festivals have become a popular venue for various types of recreational drug use, including the reported ingestion of 'Ecstasy,' 'Molly,' and/or 'MDMA,' [3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy] which has been documented by surveys with attendees and is reflected in online discussion groups associated within the EDM culture. These terms are used interchangeably, and users are often naïve as to what active substance(s) their pills, powders, or capsules contain. Within the last four years, several adverse events associated with novel psychoactive substance (NPS) use were reported at various EDM festivals in the United States. Both the dynamics of the synthetic drug market and diversity of NPS have resulted in analytical challenges within the forensic community in detecting and monitoring novel drug use. Currently, there is not a formalized approach to identify novel substances in toxicologically tested populations. Novel substances often go undetected or their discovery is serendipitous. Metabolic studies for novel drugs remain limited and, generally, metabolite elucidation occurs sometime after establishing the identity of the parent compound, if at all. Using our established operational model of collecting paired specimens and self-reported drug use data from EDM festival attendees, we address some of the research needs focused on characterizing chemical compounds of forensic interest in biological systems, by providing confirmation of the parent drugs of abuse (established and emerging) and identifying metabolites in authentic specimens from a population of recreational drug users."

Report Number:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
National Criminal Justice Reference Service: https://www.ncjrs.gov/
Media Type:
Help with citations