Synthetic drugs

Quest Diagnostics

Testing for synthetic drugs

Synthetic drugs go by a number of popular names and the available products are increasing daily. Poison control centers and hospital emergency rooms across the country report increasing instances of abuse and overdose of synthetic, or designer, drugs.
The Federal Government responded to the dangers of these types of drugs and classified many synthetic substances as Schedule I drugs under the Controlled Substances Act. Not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), synthetic drugs are not tested for human consumption and do not list a recommended dosage. Many consider the popularity of synthetic drugs and their dangerous effects an epidemic.  

Ever changing. Ever adapting.

We know that compounds in designer drugs change frequently and we work to adapt accordingly. Our scientific experts continually monitor an ever-changing list of evolving substances and add distinctive compounds to our drug test panels in response to comprehensive research on drug-use patterns and positivity. In addition, we are committed to innovation and have invested in a team dedicated to quality, research, and new drug test development.  

Synthetic cannabinoids ("K2/Spice")

Synthetic cannabinoids have gained media attention as a “legal high” alterative to marijuana sold in retails stores, in “head shops” and on the internet. These manufacturers are unregulated and do not have to fully disclose all ingredients. While most of the substances are not actually marijuana, they act on the same receptor in the human body as Δ9‐tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in marijuana and produce similar psychoactive effects. It is estimated that synthetic cannabinoids are anywhere between four and fifty times more potent than marijuana. Today’s synthetic drug compounds are dramatically different than the first generation compounds from only a few years ago because “spice” makers alter their products to evade regulations.

Synthetic stimulants ("Bath Salts")

Synthetic stimulants are described as a cross between methamphetamine and LSD or “acid,” targeting and stimulating the central nervous system and are usually inhaled, ingested and injected. Like synthetic cannabinoids, synthetic stimulants are unregulated and sold in retails stores, in “head shops” and on the internet as “bath salts,” “plant food,” or “jewelry cleaner.”  Varying batch to batch, common compounds are alpha-PVP, Butylone, Flephedrone, Mephedrone, Methedrone, Methylone, MDPV, Pentedrone, and Pentylone.

View our synthetic drugs brochure.