Detection of emerging illicit drugs may be possible with new urinary biomarkers

Written by Vivian Xie

Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS; Singapore) have demonstrated an innovative approach to identifying three new urinary biomarkers that may be utilized for the detection of emerging synthetic cannabinoids and psychoactive substances. New psychoactive substances (NPS) are designed to imitate the effects of illegal substances such as cocaine, heroin and LSD. Clandestine laboratories are established to introduce synthetic cannabinoids with differing chemical structures in order to evade legislative bans. As most NPSs are heavily metabolized in the body soon after consumption, detection in urine samples becomes almost impossible. The team of researchers at NUS, led by professor Eric...

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