Emerging Drugs of Abuse

Emerging Drugs of Abuse

Join us on March 28, at 12:30pm in NSB 3101 to learn about "Emerging Drugs of Abuse." Efforts to disrupt the supply of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) in Europe were so successful that in June of 2010, almost no ecstasy pills contained MDMA.  Similar efforts in the US resulted in increasing price and decreasing purity of cocaine.  The illicit drug market was ripe for the influx of a new generation of ‘legal highs.’  Legal highs are analogs of controlled substances that retain the psychoactive and addictive properties of the parent drug, but are not technically controlled.  The most recent influx of legal highs has been cannabimemetics and cathinones marketed as “Spice” and “bath salts,” respectively. They were available in gas stations, head shops, or online, often accessible to minors.  As the components in the different “Spice” and “bath salts” products have been scheduled, new analogs have been introduced to take their place. Their manufacture is not regulated and best practices cannot be ensured. Because legal highs are not developed as potential pharmaceuticals, there is little or no clinical data available so emergency medical personnel have no guidelines for treatment in the case of overdose.

The focus of this presentation will be on new legal highs purchased at local head shops and from online vendors.  Some examples include Synthacaine, purported to be a mixture of methiopropamine (MPA) and methylenedioxy aminoindane (MDAI), but instead contained MPA and benzocaine.  The second is the analysis of two positional isomers of (2-aminopropyl)-benzofuran (5-APB and 6-APB).  The third is the pyrolysis of 2-amino-1- (4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethyl)ethanone (bk-2C-B), an analog of 2,5-dimethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine.  Finally, will be the analysis of a drug where even the manufacturers had not correctly identified the product they were selling: 2-(ethylamino)-1-(4-methylphenyl)pentan-1-one (MEAP).

Dr. Elizabeth Gardner is the Director of the M.S. program in Forensic Science in the Department of Justice Studies at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

March 28, 2017 at 12:30PM in NSB 3101

Free and Open to the Public

Contact Information

Lori Wilson
(859) 622-8763

Published on February 10, 2017