Lucy is back in Brazil with a new dress

Luiz Ferreira Neves Junior, André Luis Fabris, Ingrid Lopes Barbosa, Júlio de Carvalho Ponce, Aline Franco Martins, José Luiz Costa, Mauricio Yonamine

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Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, a John Lennon song that was a hit in the 1960s, was born amidst a social context enlightened by lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). In Brazil, both the drug and the song were very popular at the time, although it gradually mitigated. Nevertheless, while the song remains out of the spotlight, LSD derivatives are currently gaining attention with the rising of the new psychoactive substances (NPS). With this new presentation, the drug is returning to Brazil after a few decades and herein we report and discuss the first cases of an LSD prodrug seized in our country. Nine suspected blotter paper samples were seized by the Sao Paulo State Police in different cities of the State. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS), attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and liquid chromatography coupled with electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS) analyses were utilized to confirm the identity of the LSD derivative. The compound was identified as 4-acetyl-N,N-diethyl-7-methyl-4,6,6a,7,8,9-hexahydroindolo[4,3-fg]quinoline-9-carboxamide (ALD-52 or 1A-LSD) and no other active substance was detected in all samples. The identity of the unknown compound found in seized blotter papers has been successfully confirmed as an LSD prodrug, ALD-52, which was not controlled by Brazilian legislation. The arrival of a new type of designer drug in Brazil is in support by other reports, although those are still scarce and should not be overlooked. Altogether, these findings indicate the rising of a new NPS strategy that merits proper discussion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111497
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalForensic Science International
Early online date13 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

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