Home > News & Conferences > News > AIT Publishes Synthetic Drug Research in ‘Journal of Analytical Toxicology’
Several AIT employees have shared their expertise in synthetic drug testing in the form of two articles for ‘Journal of Analytical Toxicology,’ an international, peer-reviewed journal providing information and research on potentially toxic substances and drug identification, isolation and quantitation.
In April, Toxicologist Kevin Shanks along with Technical Director Tim Dahn and VP/Chief Scientific Officer Andrea Terrell, Ph.D., DABCC published an article outlining AIT’s process for developing blood assays for JWH-018 and JWH-073, two compounds commonly used to make the popular drug K2/Spice. The article is titled “Detection of JWH-018 and JWH-073 by UPLC–MS-MS in Postmortem Whole Blood Casework.” (Click here to read the article on JAT’s website)
On May 14, JAT released its July issue geared toward the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, which features a related study from Shanks, Dahn, Terrell and Forensic Toxicologist George Behonick, Ph.D. on a lab’s ability to “keep current” on designer drugs’ changes in chemical structure thanks to UPLC–TOF methodology. The article is titled “Analysis of First and Second Generation Legal Highs for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Synthetic Stimulants by Ultra-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry.” AIT incorporated this technology into production in 2007. (Click here to read the study)
The study was cited in a May 30 post by Brandon Keim for Wired magazine’s science blog and includes commentary from Shanks. (Click here to read the Wired Science blog post)
“These drugs have extreme clinical and forensic significance. The simple fact that manufacturers do not list the ingredients of the product leads to a person consuming a truly unknown substance with unknown effects,” Shanks explained. “The products have been implicated in DUID cases and associated with cause of death. Throughout our work, we saw that even the same product can have different drugs or even combinations of drugs from week to week and these changes can happen very rapidly. Due to the physiological and psychological effects and behavioral changes associated with these drugs and products, healthcare practitioners need to be aware, as do coroners, medical examiners and law enforcement.”
Shanks is an established expert in synthetic drug research and development and was instrumental in the creation of a new Indiana law passed March 15 to ban compounds chemically derived from existing illegal drugs to prevent manufacturers from slightly changing ingredients in an effort to skirt the law. (Click here to read the story from RTV-6) He recently testified in front of the Indiana State Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters and provided invaluable input regarding the new state designer drug laws, which include synthetic cannabinoids (K2/Spice) and synthetic stimulants (bath salts). He also provided a framework of recommendations on specific drugs prevalent in the “legal high” products available in local smoke shops, gas stations and convenience stores. Other recommendations included the addition of analog language and chemical structural modification requirements.
About AIT LaboratoriesAIT Laboratories, headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., is a national healthcare company that specializes in compliance testing, forensic toxicology drug testing, and clinical laboratory testing. AIT is recognized nationwide for superior customer service and quality in testing. The employee-owned company has been recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the top 5,000 fastest-growing, private companies in the nation for five consecutive years. In 2009, the Indiana Chamber of Commerce named AIT as the “Small Business of The Year.” Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.