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Drugs of abuse are psychoactive substances illicitly distributed and used worldwide. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they represent a public health issue and are directly related to several social problems. The recent increase in appearances of new psychoactive substances (NPS), derived from structural modifications of existing psychoactive substances, poses a threat to public health and forensic laboratories worldwide, as little is known about these substances. This study aimed to chemically and geographically map drugs of abuse from blotter papers seized by the Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro State (PCERJ) between 2006 and 2019. High-performance analytical techniques, such as gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and Orbitrap mass spectrometry (Orbitrap-MS), combined with statistical analyses, were employed to characterize the seized samples. The most common chemical compounds in NPS found in this study were synthetic phenethylamines, i.e., molecules from the 25I-NBOH (2-(((4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethyl)amino)methyl)phenol) and 25I-NBOMe (2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine) families. Prior to 2014, the majority of seized blotter papers contained lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and were concentrated in the Metropolitan region. An upsurge in blotter paper seizures was observed from 2014 to 2017; the most common substances during this time were from the NBOMe family. NBOH compounds emerged in 2016 in coastal regions with high tourism, reaching over 1300 items only in 2017. Only one synthetic cannabinoid was found among the blotter papers seized in Rio de Janeiro between 2006 and 2019. The assembled chemical data and statistical analyses allowed the mapping and monitoring of the chemical profiles of the seized blotter papers, providing a strong foundation for the understanding of the origins and movement of these drugs around the RJ State. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Vinícius L Meira, Adriana S de Oliveira, Luciana S A Cohen, Cecília de A Bhering, Karen M de Oliveira, Denilson S de Siqueira, Marco Antônio Martins de Oliveira, Francisco R de Aquino Neto, Gabriela Vanini. Chemical and statistical analyses of blotter paper matrix drugs seized in the State of Rio de Janeiro. Forensic science international. 2021 Jan;318:110588

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PMID: 33278694

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