Each year, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Testing and Research Laboratory publishes an Emerging Threat Report. The data contained in the report is updated quarterly and represents a snapshot of the drug evidence seized and analyzed by the DEA in the designated period. The report is a comprehensive representation of the NPS market in the United States and is divided by drug types. It includes synthetic cannabinoids, benzodiazepines, opioids/analgesics, cathinones, and other drugs (i.e: substances that could not be confirmed, psychoactive plants, PCP-related substances, benzofurans, hallucinogens, tryptamines, and amphetamines). The total number of drugs seized and analyzed by the federal agency is listed in addition to useful statistics on the number of seizures for each drug reported. The percentage of the most reported drugs for each drug type is also indicated and provides valuable information on the emergence and prevalence of some of these substances and the nature of their widespread use in the US. The report also includes a summary section that provides a snapshot of the findings listed in each DEA report. The summary section highlights the important findings and contains the most prevalent and commonly reported drugs by the DEA, which provides a useful benchmark for the emergence of NPS on the US drug market.
The information included in the Emerging Threat Report is extremely useful for toxicologists as it provides a national benchmark for the current and emerging substances on the US drug market. The infographics contained in the report can inform toxicologists and public health professionals alike on the current drug trends so they can take the right course of action to prepare their labs for the surge of these novel substances on the US drug market. For example, toxicologists can consult the report and update their detection methods to include these new substances in their screening workflow. Likewise, public health professionals can consult the report and take the necessary health and safety precautions. Being informed about the emergence of these new substances is also critical for medical health professionals as it can inform them of the emergence of these NPS and help them prepare to administrate the appropriate medical treatment should a patient be exposed to these new substances.
Learn more about the powerful solutions for monitoring NPS by mass spectrometry that allow forensic toxicologists to easily respond to NPS:
- Technical notes
- Highly sensitive MS/MS detection for confident identification of potent novel synthetic opioids and their metabolites
- Rapid identification and quantification of novel psychoactive substances in human whole blood using SWATH acquisition
- Intelligently designed SWATH acquisition for novel psychoactive substances (NPS) detection in whole blood
- Quantitative analysis of fentanyl and analogues in human whole blood using the QTRAP 4500 system
- Detection of fentanyl analogs and novel synthetic opioids in hair