Originally Posted by Synesthesiac
Are there any other ways to test drugs
that are more accessible than GCMS and selective ion monitoring techniques?
Unfortunately not. Assays like simons/robadope treatment are good for testing presence/absence of very specific things, but they are limited by a requirement of prior knowledge as to what the sample might contain. It is also difficult to make reliable deductions from such assays if the sample is a mixture of multiple chemicals. Chemical assays are a useful way to rule out certain chemicals and therefore narrow down the possibilities, but they are never conclusive. The pill testing kits
for example cannot distinguish between everything, but are optimized to distinguish between things which are likely to be present in ecstacy pills. They are also not particularly good for purity testing. If the cut is not affected by any testing reagent, then its presence will remain undetected, and SWIY would think they have a pure product.
The best unsupervised (i.e. no prior knowledge) approaches for purity testing and identification are LC-UV, LC/GC-MS, and NMR
. Unfortunately (legal issues aside) these tend to be prohibitively expensive and not particularly accessible services, but they are by far the most reliable ways of conclusively analyzing an unknown sample.