CanTEST Drug Testing Finds Unknown Substances

The CanTEST Drug Testing facility in Canberra has recently identified three new substances, classified as “Unknown Unknown.” These substances bear similarities to commonly known recreational drugs, such as MDMA (ecstasy), a stimulant and popular party drug; Ketamine, typically used in hospitals as a non-dissociative anesthetic; and a novel stimulant related to the drug commonly known as “Bath Salts.”

Since its establishment in July 2022, the lab has analysed over 1,700 samples, leading to several significant public health findings. These include the discovery of a potentially life-threatening opioid pill incorrectly sold as oxycodone and the detection of a variant of ketamine named CanKet, found last year. Subsequent studies on CanKet have revealed its ubiquitous presence in drug markets worldwide.

CanTEST has recommend against punters taking these unknown unknown drugs as no evidence exists of what effects they will have when ingested.


Image: Image: Shutterstock – Shawn Hill

Produced By: Dominic Giles

Featured In Story: Dr David Caldicott Emergency Consultant, Senior Clinical Lecturer ANU Clinical Lead of CanTEST

First aired on The Wire, Tuesday 16 January 2024