New to drug testing: Synthetic stimulants

Image of Bath SaltsWeek #43

A few months ago, I wrote a blog entry about synthetic cannabinoids. These drugs are created from plant material that has been sprayed with man-made chemicals which simulate the effects produced by marijuana. But there is another designer drug that I didn’t mention, synthetic stimulants (“Bath Salts”). These drugs impact the central nervous system much like LSD. As part of our ongoing effort to keeping workplaces safe, we now have the technology to test for both of these fabricated substances.

Sold as “Bath Salts” or “Plant Food”, Synthetic Stimulants first emerged as a trend beginning in 2004 and are described as a cross between methamphetamine and LSD according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). These drugs contain stimulants such as alpha-PVP, Butylone, Flephedrone, Mephedrone, Methedrone, Methylone, MDPV, Pentedrone, and Pentylone and are usually inhaled, ingested or injected.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Synthetic Stimulants are popular with young adults between the ages of 20 and 29. However, poison control centers have seen children as young as six years old exposed to these drugs. And according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, more than 10,000 calls were made between 2010 and 2013 regarding “Bath Salt”-related incidents.

Synthetic compounds change frequently; therefore our scientific experts continually monitor and adjust our testing panels to an ever-changing list of substances. And as such, we now offer a lab-based urine drug test panel for Synthetic Stimulants using LC/MS/MS (Liquid Chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometry), the latest in urinalysis drug testing technology. Learn more about our synthetic stimulant panel to determine if it fills a void in your drug testing program.

For more information about drug testing, visit our website.

As a new employee at Quest Diagnostics, there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t learn something new about the world of drug testing. Like some of you, I have a lot to learn about the industry. During my first year of employment, I’m going to write this weekly column highlighting drug testing procedures, products and processes as I discover them. To learn more about my journey, you can read my introductory post.