Eleven drug task force agencies across Kentucky are using a new hand-held device that gives them the ability to analyze drugs in the field before sending them to a lab.
The TruNarc device uses laser technology to identify a wide range of drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl, which can be harmful or even deadly, if absorbed through the skin or inhaled.
Tod Young is deputy director of the Bowling Green-Warren County Task Force. He said TruNarc uses a process known as Raman spectroscopy to analyze illegal drugs without having to open a packet.
“The laser provides us with a spectrum of the molecules of the substance that we’re looking at," said Young. "Inside the device, the computer compares the spectrum or fingerprint of what we’re looking at to a known library of substances.”