Investigation of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), Other Illicit Drugs, and Drug-Related Compounds in a Taiwanese Wastewater Sample Using High-Resolution Mass-Spectrometry-Based Targeted and Suspect Screening

Yuan Chih Chen, Jen Yi Hsu, Chih Wei Chang, Pin Yu Chen, Yung Chieh Lin, I. Lin Hsu, Chiau Jun Chu, Yen Ping Lin, Pao Chi Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

The proliferation of new psychoactive substances (NPSs) in recent years has posed a significant challenge to public health. Traditional monitoring methods have proven insufficient in tracking these constantly evolving substances, leading to the development of alternative approaches such as wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE). The present study aims to utilize high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS)-based targeted and suspect screening to profile NPS, other illicit drugs, and drug-related compounds in a Taiwanese wastewater sample. For the targeted analysis, 8 out 18 standards of illicit drugs have been identified. The suspect screening approach based on approximately 3600 substances in the SWGDRUG library can further identify 92 compounds, including opiate analgesics, synthetic cathinones, phenylalkylamines derivatives, phenethylamine derivatives, tryptamine derivatives, steroids, and ephedrine-related compounds. Additionally, the presence of 5-methoxy-2-aminoindane (MEAI) in the wastewater indicates that drug dealers have recently sold this potential NPS to evade drug regulations. This study firstly reports the HRMS-based comprehensive profile of NPS, other illicit drugs, and drug-related compounds in Taiwan, which could be applied as biomarkers for estimating the consumption of drugs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5040
JournalMolecules
Volume28
Issue number13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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