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Jillian Neifeld, MS

Synthetic Benzodiazepines…..there’s more than just Opioids to test for

April 8, 2020 at 5:28 PM / by Jillian Neifeld, MS

We’ve all heard about Synthetic Opioids and how frequently they’re being abused, creating an Opioid Epidemic. What many of us aren’t hearing about are other synthetic compounds that are out there. Synthetic Benzodiazepines are now the fourth most prominent illegal synthetic drug class1.

Benzos are Central Nervous System Depressants and have been prescribed more and more in the past few years. When the prescription runs out, users turn to the dark web and order what they think is more Xanax or more Valium, but instead receive a different benzo formulation2. Since these synthetics have different structures than the FDA-approved compounds, they result in different interactions in the body, which is resulting in overdose cases.

Forensic laboratories worldwide are struggling because they need to quantify all of these benzos in one large drug method. If your lab is going to be developing a comprehensive synthetic drug assay, take a look at this application note from Biotage. A simplified methodology using an extraction technique like ISOLUTE® HYDRO DME+ or ISOLUTE® SLE+ is a great choice for all of the benzos that you may be looking for. A slightly more complex SPE clean-up using EVOLUTE® EXPRESS CX can also be used to extract these synthetic benzos.

If you are interested in reading the full synthetic benzos application note you can find it here!                                                                                   

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Additionally, if you have specific questions about the synthetic benzos in your panel, please contact us.  The applications chemists that ran these studies are readily available to discuss your specific needs. xxx xxxx xxxx xxx xxx xx xx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

1. https://ndews.umd.edu/resources/dea-emerging-threat-reports

2. https://www.aacc.org/publications/cln/articles/2019/november/the-evolution-of-designer-benzodiazepines 

Topics: Automation, Forensic, SPE solid phase extraction, Drug Metabolites, Extrahera

Jillian Neifeld, MS

Written by Jillian Neifeld, MS