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A Visit to a Chinese Lab Manufacturing Legal High Drugs
An article appearing in the May 1, 2015, on-line US edition of The Guardian describes a visit to a Chinese lab manufacturing "legal highs," also known as novel psychoactive substances (NPS). The article examines the persistent challenge "legal highs" pose to prevailing public health and drug control paradigms (Our purity is above 99%': the Chinese labs churning out legal highs for the west).
 
During the author's visit, she observed the production of  "legal high" drugs intended for delivery to customers — presumably internet re-sellers —  located in Europe and the US. She found that the laboratory's operators classified themselves as "only chemists," with an indifference to the NPS product's potency, purity, or safety profile. The main drivers behind a new "legal high," she discovered, include the potency of the drug high and whether the substance is uncontrolled in regions such as Europe and the US. 
 
The article discusses instances of new NPS drugs appearing on the market as a result of drug bans or other government led efforts to limit the supply of an illicit compound, a dynamic the United Nations calls "substance displacement." In the fall of 2008, for example, the designer drug mephedrone emerged in Europe as a response to a United Nations effort to limit MDMA.
 
The article concludes by citing the opinion of drug experts who advocate for the creation of regulated drug markets, which would legalize classical drugs such as Cannabis. According to these experts, an intended consequence of a regulated drug market would include a decrease in deaths from NPS drugs with unknown identity and potency. NPS drug deaths would decline, the experts argue, as users switch to regulated drugs with age requirements, as is required for alcohol, along with accurate labeling on identity and potency.  
 
Cerilliant constantly updates its catalog of solution-based Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) with novel psychoactive substances and their stable-labeled internal standards and metabolites, including amphetamine-type stimulants (ATSs), synthetic cannabinoids, designer benzodiazepines, synthetic cathinones, phenethylamines and synthetic analgesics and hallucinogens. These NPS standards are suitable for a variety of uses from forensic drug testing, clinical toxicology analysis, and calibrator preparation to urine drug testing, and isotope dilution methods.
 
Cerilliant's USDEA exemptions and TK#s allow laboratories in the US and Canada to order standards of controlled NPS drugs without additional regulatory paperwork. Click on the links below to view listings of Cerilliant NPS Certified Spiking Solutions®:
 
 
 


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