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Chemistry

Impurities in psychedelics

Psychedelic blotters seized by the Santa Catarina police force

Boff, B. S. et al. Forensic Science International. 2020

Psychedelic drug users are taking greater risks than they expect when buying LSD blotters (absorbent paper laced with the drug). Researchers from the Santa Catarina General Institute of Forensics of (IGP-SC) and the School of Pharmacy’s Toxicology Laboratory at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) analyzed drugs seized in Santa Catarina between 2011 and 2017 and found a change in the composition of blotters. In 2011, LSD was the only substance found in the paper. Six years later, 25 different substances were identified, including hallucinogenic NBOMEs, psychedelic amphetamines (DOx), and opioids derived from fentanyl, mescaline, tryptamines, cathinones, and synthetic cannabinoids (Forensic Science International, February). “Some of them are potentially fatal,” says IGP-SC criminal biochemistry expert Bruna de Souza Boff, leader of the research. According to Boff, consumers do not know what they are buying and are often exposed to psychoactive substances whose mechanisms of action and toxicity have not yet been studied by the scientific community.

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