Blog Post

Centice Enhances Heroin Identification in Narcotic Library

Drug Identification system aids law enforcement in identifying opioids and other illicit drugs in the field

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. (January 28, 2014) – Centice Corporation, a pioneer in chemical verification and identification using Raman spectroscopy and computational sensor technology, today announced the addition of “street heroin” to the illegal substance library for the Mobile Field Lab (MFL-3000). Previously, the MFL-3000 could identify pharmaceutical-grade heroin. The new drug identification kit will be added to the 3,600 drugs already offered to law enforcement and will be available for shipment beginning April 2014.


Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy. It is a depressant that affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with the brain’s ability to perceive pain. Street heroin may contain a variety of other street and prescription drugs, including caffeine, baking soda, lactose, or even fentanyl. Heroin currently accounts for approximately 11% of drug arrests in the US.


Narcotic squads and drug task forces will now be able to quickly and easily identify heroin, heroin derivatives, and cutting agents in the field with the Centice MFL-3000. Centice’s Raman spectroscopy technology rapidly scans any pill or illicit substance and identifies its unique spectral fingerprint and compares it to its library of illicit drugs and prescription pills. The MFL-3000 also identifies cutting agents and precursors used in making illicit drugs, and works with both pure substances and mixtures. Other drugs that Centice currently identifies include cocaine, methamphetamine, bath salts, MDMA (molly), synthetic cannabinoids, and over 3300 prescription pills.


“The CDC tells us that 105 people die as result of a drug overdose every day and over 6,000 people are treated daily in emergency departments for the misuse or abuse of drugs,” said John Goehrke, CEO of Centice. “With the addition of street heroin to the library, Centice can now help law enforcement identify every major drug and prescription pill in the field. No other portable solution has this breadth of service.”


Earlier this month, Centice also added Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, as well as a 13 other drugs including new cathinones (bath salts), phenethylamines (psychoactive stimulants) and synthetic cannabinoids (spice) to their library of illegal substances the MFL-3000 can identify.

About Centice

Centice Corporation is a leader in delivering unique technology and systems for identification and verification of chemical substances. The MFL-3000, which uses Centice’s patented coded aperture Raman Spectroscopy technology, allows law enforcement agencies to quickly identify over 3,600 Controlled Prescription Drugs (CPD), street narcotics and cutting agent mixtures. The portable system provides field narcotic officers and drug interdiction agents with technology typically only available to crime labs. Operating worldwide through a network of distributors and support organizations the company sells to governments, non-governmental organizations (NGO), and local law enforcement departments. By leveraging expertise in applied Raman Spectroscopy and patented Coded Aperture design our engineers deliver on faster acquisition times, greater sensor reliability, and more sensitive spectra data acquisition. The company is headquartered in Morrisville, NC was founded in 2004 from technology created at Duke University.