Synthetic Cathinones Identification

Detect emerging synthetic drugs with handheld Raman technology

Recent years have shown significant growth of street drugs collectively known as synthetic cathinones— also called "bath salts" or "plant food." They present a significant health crisis not only for their devastating physical effects but because they are difficult to identify. They are often intentionally mislabeled and include the claim "not for human consumption" to avoid prosecution. As quickly as a certain drug type or derivative is made illegal, modified substances make their way into the market to circumvent the new laws. These may only have small molecular differences, but they provide a continual challenge for the courts to stay ahead of the threat.

With illegal drug targets evolving so rapidly, traditional wet chemistry kits cannot keep pace with the constant influx of unknown substances. The Thermo Scientific™ TruNarc™ handheld analyzer is designed to identify numerous synthetic cathinones right at the scene, even those similar in appearance.

The TruNarc analyzer is the only portable instrument with a regularly updated library to quickly adapt to new designer drugs and emerging variations as they gain traction in the market. The library also includes key drugs of abuse, cuttings agents, and precursors to allow precise analysis of a range of substances. The analyzer leverages widely accepted Raman spectroscopy, a proven technology that excels at identifying liquids, gels, pastes, and light-colored solid materials, including tablets and the contents of capsules.

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Drug testing with handheld Raman technology

In 35 states and 35 countries
The TruNarc analyzer sees "tremendous momentum" in the way field identification is conducted.


Portable illegal drug identification
Clear, definitive drug-testing results

Scan a sample for multiple narcotics in one single test.The Thermo Scientific™ TruNarc™ Handheld Narcotics Analyzer is a handheld Raman system for rapid identification of suspected illegal drugs without direct contact for most samples. A single test for multiple controlled substances provides law enforcement with clear, definitive results for presumptive identification. Lightweight and easy to use, the TruNarc device delivers fast and accurate narcotics analysis anywhere it’s needed.

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A revolution in investigation and prosecution

Australian health and police agencies form critical partnership for in-field testing of illicit drugs. 

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