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Identification of Narcotics using a Handheld Raman Spectrometer

Raman spectrometers easily identifies different drugs by their unique chemical fingerprint

Introduction

Illegal manufacturing, trafficking, and consumption of narcotic substances pose a major health problem for the world’s population. According to the World Drug Report 2018 of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) the production of both opium and cocaine has reached a new record. Furthermore, the markets of cocaine and amphetamines are continuously expanding and also the consumption of cannabis is increasing.

In addition to these “established” drugs, major health threats stem from quickly emerging newer drug types such as fentanyl and its analogues, tramadol, and new benzodiazepines.

The authorities prosecuting drug-related crimes require fast and safe methods for the quick identification of presumably illegal substances in the field. Small handheld devices using non-contact and non-destructive measurement techniques such as the Cora 100 analyzer are ideally suited for this application.

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