Illegal drugs are an increasing problem for societies all over the world. The problem has been made much worse in recent years by the rapid growth in the manufacture and use of “new psychoactive substances” (NPS), sometimes known as “designer drugs”. These drugs are manufactured by criminal organisations, which make minor alterations in the molecular structure of known drugs, often cannabinoids, to produce versions that are more powerful and that can be difficult to detect. There are now literally hundreds of such NPS and other illegal drugs on the world black market, which poses a major problem for law enforcement agencies trying to identify and control them using outdated methods of analysis. Working with academic partners, we have developed a method to identify illegal drugs using the X-Pulse high resolution NMR spectrometer, coupled with an extensive database of spectra of such drugs.