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Monday, March 27, 2023

Handheld Narcotics Analyzer Can Now Detect Lethal W-18 Opioid Drug

Handheld Narcotics Analyzer Can Now Detect Lethal W-18 Opioid Drug Homeland Security TodayLaw enforcement agents, narcotics officers and customs personnel can now quickly and safely detect street drug W-18 and other lethal drugs with the newest library update for the Thermo Scientific TruNarc handheld narcotics analyzer. W-18 is a new designer drug considered to be significantly more potent than morphine and fentanyl.

As part of its most recent v1.6 software update, the TruNarc analyzer adds dibutylone, furanyl fentanyl and U-47700 to its onboard library, which now includes nearly 300 suspected narcotics and narcotics precursors and an additional 80 common cutting agents.

TruNarc helps combat drug abuse by enabling law enforcement to quickly identify core drugs of abuse as well as emerging threats. These include dangerous painkillers that have contributed to the growing opioid epidemic in the US. Last year, TruNarc added fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl to its library.

Dibutylone, known as “booty” or “beauty,” is a psychedelic drug in the phenethylamine, amphetamine and cathinone class. It has been linked to recent random acts of violence in Florida, where the Thermo Fisher Scientific Reachback Support team assisted law enforcement by identifying the dibutylone (bk-DMBDB HCl).

Furanyl fentanyl and U-47700 are two synthetic opioids distributed in the US as recreational drugs. Fentanyl has been linked to hundreds of deaths in the US since 2013, a reason the US Drug Enforcement Agency issued a briefing in July 2016 stating that the country is in the midst of a fentanyl crisis.

“The recent case in Florida highlights the challenges safety and security professionals face as newer, deadlier drugs reach the street,” said Denzil Vaughn, director of marketing, portable analytical instruments, Thermo Fisher. “The TruNarc analyzer’s latest library update is designed to equip field agents with updated capabilities to stay ahead of emerging narcotics threats and more quickly get drug users the treatment they need.”

The TruNarc analyzer, which debuted in 2012, allows law enforcement personnel to scan a single sample for multiple narcotics in one test and receive the results within seconds. An increasing number of law enforcement departments are deploying TruNarc for presumptive testing, helping to eliminate the need to carry multiple chemical tests, reduce drug testing backlogs and speed prosecution.

The analyzer identifies chemicals with Raman spectroscopy, a well-established technique. Features and benefits of the TruNarc analyzer include:

  • Point-and-shoot simplicity that allows users to accurately identify narcotics on site with a highspecificity, non-destructive and non-contact test for most samples;
  • Rapid presumptive testing designed to enable law enforcement to more expeditiously prosecute cases. As an example, the Franklin County, Missouri, Multi-County Narcotics and Violent Crimes Enforcement Unit uses TruNarc to gain probable cause and charge drug offenders;
  • Field-based sample screening designed to reduce sample backlogs and ensure valuable resources are put to use on high-profile cases and analysis of unconfirmed samples; and
  • Free library updates that add newly discovered substances to the analyzer’s “fingerprint” library. 
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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