Toxicological tests for detecting intoxication with NPSs

Dan Perri

Are there any simple, quick, and reliable toxicological tests that exclude or confirm intoxication with novel psychoactive substances?

Dan Perri: Unfortunately, with the novel psychoactive substances there are no quick bedside tests available. There are some commercial tests, but the turnaround time is between 1 and 3 days. Some bedside assays are developed for some products, but usually by the time those make it to market the manufacturers and distributors of these substances have changed to different drugs, which will no longer be detected. It is very hard, without the capability of technologies like mass spectrometry or liquid chromatography, to identify these substances, which is why most emergency departments in smaller hospitals cannot do so.

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