Poster Title

Determination of Cannabinoids, Cathinones, and Synthetic Fentanyls Using Wastewater-Based Epidemiology

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Chemistry

Minor

Biology

Institution

Murray State University

KY House District #

1

KY Senate District #

2

Department

Chemistry

Abstract

Unregulated new psychoactive substances (NPS) in “pure” or “preparation” forms are designed to mimic the effects of controlled substances, and are introduced and reintroduced in the market as a cheap substitute for established regulated drugs in quick succession to loophole the law enforcement efforts on combating drugs. For example, carfentanil, a synthetic opioid activates the opioid receptors similar to morphine but it is astoundingly potent compared to a typical drug of abuse (100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more powerful than morphine). Based on the cost- and time-intensive forensic analysis, National Drug Early Warning System reported the fentanyl (3099), synthetic cathinones (670), and synthetic cannabinoids (633) counts of drug seizures in 2017 in Illinois by the law enforcement. The UPLC-MS/MS based analytical technique was developed capable of determining trace level NPS in wastewater. The cost-effective, comprehensive, and near-real-time approach, wastewater-based epidemiology, was used for the first time in the U.S. to determine the prevalence of 43 NPS in four U.S. communities. Methcathinone, 5-IT, 4-methylamphetamine, 1-(3-chlorophenyl) piperazine (mCPP), 4-methyl pentedrone, methoxyacetyl fentanyl, carfentanil, MAB-CHIMINACA, and 2-methyl-4’(methylthio)-2-morpholinopropiophenone were the most abundant NPS.

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Determination of Cannabinoids, Cathinones, and Synthetic Fentanyls Using Wastewater-Based Epidemiology

Unregulated new psychoactive substances (NPS) in “pure” or “preparation” forms are designed to mimic the effects of controlled substances, and are introduced and reintroduced in the market as a cheap substitute for established regulated drugs in quick succession to loophole the law enforcement efforts on combating drugs. For example, carfentanil, a synthetic opioid activates the opioid receptors similar to morphine but it is astoundingly potent compared to a typical drug of abuse (100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more powerful than morphine). Based on the cost- and time-intensive forensic analysis, National Drug Early Warning System reported the fentanyl (3099), synthetic cathinones (670), and synthetic cannabinoids (633) counts of drug seizures in 2017 in Illinois by the law enforcement. The UPLC-MS/MS based analytical technique was developed capable of determining trace level NPS in wastewater. The cost-effective, comprehensive, and near-real-time approach, wastewater-based epidemiology, was used for the first time in the U.S. to determine the prevalence of 43 NPS in four U.S. communities. Methcathinone, 5-IT, 4-methylamphetamine, 1-(3-chlorophenyl) piperazine (mCPP), 4-methyl pentedrone, methoxyacetyl fentanyl, carfentanil, MAB-CHIMINACA, and 2-methyl-4’(methylthio)-2-morpholinopropiophenone were the most abundant NPS.