Our colleagues from the Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy Cluj-Napoca and the University of Antwerp have recently published a review on contributions to amphetamine-type substances (ATS) analysis. This type of synthetic illicit drugs has been increasingly present worldwide reaching 5% of the market on illicit drugs in 2019. The increment of their production in many clandestine laboratories and easy distribution among society are two of the main concerns towards the battle against synthetic drugs.
As well as detailing the classification and mechanism of action of ATS in the human body and describing the pharmacological and toxicological effects of ATS on human health, the most used laboratory-based and portable methods are presented and critically discussed. Finally, a careful discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of portable techniques employed on the field (including electrochemical devices, which is the scope of BorderSens project) are addressed as potential tools for on-site ATS detection by law enforcement officers.