IAA - Delivering a commercial answer to the problem of ‘Spice’ entering UK prisons

Project: Research council

Project Details


Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs; colloquially termed ‘Spice’) are novel psychoactive substances (NPS), which dominate the UK prison system and are endemic in homeless communities. SCRA use is almost entirely driven by the lack of an instant detection modality; entering the prison estate soaked onto letters and fabric. The side effects of SCRAs are debilitating and can include, psychosis, stroke, seizures and are associated with aggression. Decreasing the flow of Spice into prisons would lessen adverse health outcomes and associated costs, and improve the environment of the prison estate. We have developed a prototype of an instant SCRA detection device, capable of detection on the major routes SCRAs enter prisons; soaked onto paper and in fabric. The project seeks to test this prototype in setting to establish market viability.
Effective start/end date1/11/2231/10/24


  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


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