NIST, Collaborators Create Drug Tracking Website

NIST, Collaborators Create Drug Tracking Website

Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency have launched a website where forensic chemists can share data on new variants or analogs of drugs.

The current opioid crisis is partially fueled by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that comes in many forms that are difficult to track. In an effort to help combat this, scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency have launched a website where forensic chemists can share data on new variants or analogs of drugs.

The Novel Psychoactive Substances (NPS) Data Hub includes the chemical signatures and structures of drug variants, which is vital to identifying them in the lab. The goal is to provide data for drug identification to forensic chemists more quickly.

“If people start overdosing and dying from a new drug analog, authorities need to identify it as quickly as possible,” said Aaron Urbas, the NIST research chemist who led the project. “If you want to focus your resources effectively, you need to know what you’re looking for.”

In addition to data on synthetic opioids like fentanyl, the Data Hub is also intended to host data on synthetic cannabinoids (synthetic marijuana), synthetic cathinones (aka bath salts), amphetamines, and other drugs.

Illegal drug manufacturers create new variants to increase drug potency and stay one step ahead of law enforcement. When drugs are seized, forensic chemists try to identify it by checking its chemical signature against law enforcement databases of drug chemical signatures.

New and different drug variants may not be recognized, and identifying the substance will require more time and more complex analysis. The NPS Data Hub hopes to allow experts to collaborate, hopefully expediting the process.

“These people have very rare expertise,” NIST senior policy advisor Jayne Morrow said. “The Data Hub brings these experts together and provides a forum where they can discuss what they’re seeing in real time. There haven’t been great ways to do that before, and it’s really needed.”

Accounts on the NPS Data Hub are only available for users with suitable law enforcement, public health, or research credentials.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • The Top 5 Safety and Technology Trends to Watch in 2019

    Get the latest on trends you can expect to hear more about in 2019, including continued growth of mobile safety applications, wearable technology, and smart PPE; autonomous vehicles; pending OSHA recordkeeping rulemaking; and increased adoption of international safety standard, ISO 45001.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common training questions.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Industry Safe

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - January 2019

    January 2019

    Featuring:

    • PREVENTING ERRORS
      Production vs. Safety 
    • EMERGENCY SHOWERS & EYEWASH
      Meeting the Requirements for Emergency Equipment
    • CONSTRUCTION SAFETY
      The State of Contractor Safety
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      The Three Keys to Effective Chemical Management
    View This Issue