The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is seeking new ways of detecting “designer drug” use by promoting the development of biofluid drug screens based on pharmacological activity rather than chemical structure. Because drugs such as the synthetic cannabinoids (known as "K2" and "Spice") and the "bath salts" (methylenedioxypyrovalerone or its metabolite, pyrovalerone) are constantly evolving, they frequently evade available drug screens.
NIDA is also seeking solutions to a variety of other drug abuse issues. Specific topics of interest could include human brain neurochemical and molecular imaging, discovery of new chemical probes, and nanoscience-based design of therapies for substance abuse treatment. NIDA says high priority will be given to research that seeks to develop innovative technologies, methods, or tools, or to apply emerging and existing methods to develop medications to treat addiction. For more information, see the Omnibus Solicitation, issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
For more about bath salts and synthetic cannabinoids, see Psychiatric News here and here.
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