Smart drugs, also known as nootropics, are an emerging area of growth in recreational drug use with implications for forensic toxicology. The drugs have stimulant properties and are alleged to boost brain function and cognition. The media attention on these drugs has increased within the last few years. The drugs have developed an underground following and are commonly sold online and in illicit supply chains. Most have not been approved or scheduled in the US, and are of concern to regulators such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The stimulant properties of the drugs have led to their use in academic doping and as drugs of abuse. Some drugs are also prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The development of a method was necessary for the detection of these compounds in biological matrices and in powders and tablets, as ethical issues have been raised concerning chemical enhancement of cognitive skills, for instance in academic competition or in treating diseases associated with cognitive impairment. There are also public safety concerns associated with the adverse effects on mood, psychomotor behavior, and human performance caused by the use of these substances.
Publications and Presentations
Development of an Analytical Method for Nootropic “Smart” Drugs in Biological Fluids
Mollie Mares, Donna Papsun, Karen S. Scott, Barry K. Logan, Platform Presentation, AAFS, February 2015.
Powerpoint Presentation | Mollie Presenting at AAFS