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NPS Discovery Toolkit

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2022

This report provides an overview of and online access to the Novel Psychoactive Substance (NPS) Discovery toolkit, which provides guidance and resources for forensic laboratories in designing and implementing testing for new and emerging psychoactive drugs.


The NPS Discovery toolkit was developed by the National Institute of Justice’s (NIJ’s) Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) and the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) at the Fredric Rieders Family Foundation. Its intent is to help experienced toxicologists in deciding 1) how to update their NPS analytical scope; 2) how to design and optimize analytical methods; 3) how to validate methods efficiently and in compliance with recommended best practices; and 4) how to implement some strategies for interpretation when these drugs appear in casework. The toolkit addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs) on how to get started; challenges that typically occur in NPS analysis; resources for prioritizing research and development; the appropriate schedule for updating analytical methods; various approaches in developing and resourcing appropriate analytical platforms;  the collection, organization, and analysis of data relevant to NPS analyses; and resources and approaches for toxicological interpretation of new substances and the appropriate approach for weighting analytical opinions. The online toolkit can be accessed from this overview page.

Date Published: April 26, 2022