Australia is currently seeing record levels of illicit drug seizures and arrests, with over 23.5 tonnes seized nationally in 2014-2015. New drugs are also being developed on a daily basis, with approximately two new synthetic drugs entering the world market each week. So, how do authorities and forensic labs deal with this growing and borderless illicit drug market, which seems to stay one step ahead of the law? Do we need to re-think the way these dangerous substances are being policed and managed?
In this UTS Science in Focus talk, Ms Morgan Philp, a PhD candidate from the UTS Centre for Forensic Science, explains how her research, supervised by Associate Professor Shanlin Fu, has led to the creation of a rapid, cost-effective and ‘on the spot’ test for synthetic cathinones—commonly known as ‘bath salts’. Dr Marie Morelato, Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, and an expert in drug intelligence from the UTS Centre for Forensic Science, then explains how forensic intelligence can be applied to better understand the structure of organised crime and help to inform public policy makers.