Among novel psychoactive substances, synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRA) seem to have the widest diffusion in the population with no limitation to any particular demographic group. Information on drug consumption relies mostly on anonymized surveys and less on clinical or analytical data; notwithstanding, the huge efforts constantly made to enroll subjects to gather epidemiological data. In the present study, we collected 66 oral fluid samples from volunteers in a drug rehabilitation center in 2019 and early 2020. A liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry method previously developed and validated by our Unit was applied to detect SCRA (n = 10) in oral fluid. Results proved the presence of synthetic cannabinoids at a positivity rate of almost 20%, with detection frequency HU211(5/13) > UR144/JWH122 (3/13) > JWH019/JWH081/AM2201 (1/13). Concentrations were in the range < LOQ −0.36 ng/ml. Synthetic cannabinoids consumption had not been declared by any volunteer. This study enabled for the unprecedent detection of synthetic cannabinoids use in the territory of Parma (Italy) in a high-risk subpopulation. The identified SCRA proved the persistence into the market of the “first-generation” JWH family into the Italian territory and the marketing of relatively new ones (AM-2201). Public health consequences represented by NPS consumption are still scarce; therefore, further studies are needed to understand the real diffusion in the population.
Oral fluid analysis to monitor recent exposure to synthetic cannabinoids in a high-risk subpopulation / Pascali, J. P.; Dagoli, S.; Antonioni, M.; Facetti, O.; Anzillotti, L.; Calo, L.; Affini, G.; Cantarelli, B.; Cecchi, R.. - In: JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES. - ISSN 0022-1198. - 67:5(2022), pp. 1932-1937. [10.1111/1556-4029.15067]