Analysis of drugs seized from amnesty bins at two major United Kingdom summer music festivals using two portable gas chromatography‐mass spectrometry (GC–MS) instruments

Anca Frinculescu, Trevor Shine, John Ramsey, Lewis Couchman, Nunzianda Frascione, Vincenzo Abbate*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Globally, the number of drug users and the proportion of the drug using population has increased from 210 million in 2009 to 269 million in 2019. Several studies suggest that music festival attendees are more likely to abuse illicit substances and have a high-risk profile. Consequently, it is crucial to develop robust field drug analysis methods that facilitate harm reduction and drug monitoring. The work presented in this report aimed at developing and validating qualitative analytical methods for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenethylamine (2C-B), ketamine and N-ethylpentylone on two portable gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) systems: Griffin G510 (Teledyne FLIR, West Lafayette, IN) and Torion T-9 (PerkinElmer, Shelton, CT). The diagnostic ability of the mobile GC–MS units was assessed on 200 samples in total, seized at two large summer music festivals in the United Kingdom. The method validation process included selectivity/specificity, limit of identification, carry-over, ruggedness/robustness, and inter- and intra-day precision (repeatability and reproducibility). The Griffin G510 demonstrated a limit of identification from 1 mg/mL for 2C-B to 0.063 mg/mL for ketamine and good ruggedness and precision results. The precision for 2C-B using the Torion T-9 was poorer than for the Griffin G510, but equivalent for the other compounds tested. Correct identifications (versus benchtop GC–MS) for the two festivals were 85%–86% and 74%–83% for the Griffin G510 and the Torion T-9, respectively. The two portable instruments were able to adequately cover current on-site drug-testing analytical gaps and proved to be a powerful addition to the on-site drug analysis techniques.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDrug Testing And Analysis
Early online date23 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2024

Cite this