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Title: Early Warning System for Illicit Drug Use at Large Public Events: Trace Residue Analysis of Discarded Drug Packaging Samples.
Austin Authors: West, Henry;Fitzgerald, John;Hopkins, Katherine;Li, Eric;Clark, Nicolas;Tzanetis, Stephanie;Greene, Shaun L ;Reid, Gavin E
Affiliation: School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Agilent Technologies Australia, Mulgrave, Victoria 3170, Australia
North Richmond Community Health, Richmond, Victoria 3121, Australia
Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, Victoria 3050, Australia
Harm Reduction Victoria, North Melbourne, Victoria 3051, Australia
Harm Reduction Australia, Leura, New South Wales 2780, Australia
Victorian Poisons Information Centre
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria 3010, Australia
School of Chemistry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
Issue Date: 6-Oct-2021
Date: 2021-08-30
Publication information: Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 2021-10-06; 32(10): 2604-2614
Abstract: Inspired by Locard's exchange principle, which states "every contact leaves a trace", a trace residue sampling strategy has been developed for the analysis of discarded drug packaging samples (DPS), as part of an early warning system for illicit drug use at large public events including music/dance festivals. Using direct analysis in real time/mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry, rapid and high-throughput identification and characterization of a wide range of illicit drugs and adulterant substances was achieved, including in complex polydrug mixtures and at low relative ion abundances. A total of 1362 DPS were analyzed either off-site using laboratory-based instrumentation or on-site and in close to real time using a transportable mass spectrometer housed within a mobile analytical laboratory, with each analysis requiring less than 1 min per sample. Of the DPS analyzed, 92.2% yielded positive results for at least one of 15 different drugs and/or adulterants, including cocaine, MDMA, and ketamine, as well as numerous novel psychoactive substances (NPS). Also, 52.6% of positive DPS were found to contain polydrug mixtures, and a total of 42 different drug and polydrug combinations were observed throughout the study. For analyses performed on-site, reports to key stakeholders including event organizers, first aid and medical personnel, and peer-based harm reduction workers could be provided in as little as 5 min after sample collection. Following risk assessment of the potential harms associated with their use, drug advisories or alerts were then disseminated to event staff and patrons and subsequently to the general public when substances with particularly toxic properties were identified.
DOI: 10.1021/jasms.1c00232
ORCID: 0000-0002-9675-1444
Journal: Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
PubMed URL: 34460248
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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