Scientists from the University of Lincoln’s Forensic Chemistry Research Group have published a new study in collaboration with Brazilian police which could help tackle the misidentification of 25I-NBOH, a potent psychedelic substance, when processed by routine analyses.
Dr Ana Andrade, visiting post-doctorate from the Policia Civil do Distrito Federal, and Dr Mathieu Elie from the School of Chemistry have been working with several forensic Brazilian laboratories to address the issue.
25I-NBOH is a psychedelic phenethylamine (amphetamine-type of compound) and part of the latest wave of Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) which were controlled last year in the UK under the new Psychoactive Substances Act 2016. It is believed to be widely abused and has been found on blotter paper similarly to LSD.
Dr Mathieu Elie explained: “Due to the fragile nature of the molecule, this compound is rapidly degraded by heat and transformed into another drug when routinely analysed by recommended approved methods. This has a twofold impact: first, different drugs often fall under different legislation; and secondly, different drugs often require different course of treatment in intoxication cases. What we did was to demonstrate this transformation and proposed an alternative method to prevent misidentification”.
The paper was presented at the international conference of forensic science: InterForensics 2017 in Brasilia (http://interforensics.com/en/), and won the Best Paper Award.
The paper titled “Preventing misindentification of 25I-NBOH as 2C-I on routine GC-MS analyses”, is now available to read online: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11419-017-0362-0