Designer Drugs


Designer drugs are a growing concern for drug regulators around the world, with up to 70 new psychoactive drugs being identified entering the European Union every year. These drugs are designed to mimic established illicit drugs like cocaine, amphetamines, ecstasy and LSD. Although they are marketed as “legal highs”, there has been little to no testing on the safety of these compounds and in many cases the new designer drugs have been shown to be even more dangerous than the illicit drugs that they aim to replace. The development of these drugs has put pressure on international Governments to develop legal and analytical frameworks that quickly identify and control the sale and use of these compounds. Europe is currently the centre of designer drug activity and information on the use of these drugs in Europe can be obtained from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction.

Designer Drugs In Australia.

In Australia these drugs are known as bath salts, plant food, herbal highs, synthetic cocaine and party pills, and can often be purchased from legitimate businesses. The legal framework for regulating these drugs varies from state to state, but Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia now have a blanket ban on psychoactive substances other than alcohol and tobacco, while the other states maintain specific lists of illicit drugs.

Due to the large numbers of designer drugs that are now in the market, high-resolution mass spectrometry is the only effective method for screening for these drugs in urine or oral fluid. Racing Analytical Services Ltd offers a test that screens for over 400 different designer drugs in a single analysis.