This thesis describes the overall issues that designer drugs are causing in society today. There are three main types of structural differences between designer drugs and the parent drug they are created from. The substances can be direct or indirect regioisomers with the same atomic components as the parent drug or isobaric compounds containing different atomic components than the parent drug. These substances are slowly becoming classified as stimulants, sedatives, dissociative, psychedelics, or synthetic cannabinoids, and scheduled into one of the classes set in place by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, appropriately once enough information is known about them. Many different instrumentation techniques can be used to help identify these designer drugs and assist with the process of relating them to a specific designer drug family. Some of the most important forensic instruments for this identification process include Gas Chromatography, Mass Spectrometry, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Overall, these designer drugs need to be analyzed and researched more in order to put proper polices into place to ultimately save the lives of many.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 2021


Dr. Karim Abdelhay

Mentor Department Affiliation


Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars