August 31, 2023

The 3rd International Symposium of Forensic Drug Testing Lab Directors was held from May 14-16, 2022 in Abu Dhabi, UAE to discuss current threats and emerging trends caused by toxic adulterants in the world-wide drug supply. The Colombo Plan’s Global Toxic Adulterant Project has been a world leader in testing and analysis of seized drug samples and street level drug samples since 2016 for composition and quantification of active drug, and for toxic adulterants in the drugs. The xylazine adulteration of the US drug supply reminds public health and public safety officials of the harmful and deleterious effects of adulterants. Yet, toxic adulterants detected in street drug samples across the globe have long been associated with adverse health outcomes, including anemia, bone marrow damage, cancers, cardiac arrythmias, leukopenia, renal failure, and many other conditions, including death.

The Colombo Plan’s International Lab Director’s Symposium allows member countries to gain visibility and collaboration into emerging drug trends, adulterant trends associated therewith, and the evolution and emergence of harmful new toxic adulterants. The Colombo Plan’s gathering of International Lab Directors also provided opportunity for the scientists to preview the impending upgrade to the International Toxic Adulterant Database (ITAD) hosted by the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) and resourced by the Colombo Plan.