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Simultaneous determination of drugs of abuse (opiates, cocaine and amphetamine) in human hair byGC MSand its application to a methadone treatment program

Forensic Science International
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0379-0738(93)90273-d
  • Hair Analysis
  • Gas Chromotography/Mass Spectrometry
  • Drugs Of Abuse
  • Metabolites
  • 6-Acetylmorphine
  • Amphetamine
  • Benzoylecgonine
  • Cocaine
  • Codeine
  • Dihydrocodeine
  • Eddp
  • Methadone
  • Morphine


Abstract A new method was developed for the simultaneous detection and quantitation of 6-acetylmorphine (MAM), amphetamine, benzoylecgonine (BZE), cocaine, codeine, dihydrocodeine, EDDP (methadone metabolite), methadone and morphine in hair. The hair samples were washed, cut into 2-cm segments, pulverized, incubated with phosphate buffer and β-glucuronidase/aryl-sulfatase. After solid phase extraction and derivatization with pentafluoropropionic anhydride/pentafluoropropanol, the drugs were identified and measured by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry using their deuterated analogues as internal standards. The method is reproducible with detection limits under 0.1 ng/mg hair for almost all substances tested. Fifteen hair samples from five subjects of a methadone treatment program were collected in a 6-month period. The hair samples were segmented and examined for methadone, its main metabolite EDDP, and drugs of abuse. Of the 96 segments analysed, 95% were positive for methadone (mean value, 10.9 ng/mg), 76% for the metabolite EDDP (mean value, 1.2 ng/mg), 69% for opiates (mean values, MAM, 7.3 ng/mg; morphine, 2.9 ng/mg; codeine, 1.0 ng/mg) and 43% for cocaine (mean values, cocaine, 2.6 ng/mg; BZE, 1.1 ng/mg). A correlation of 0.63 was found between administered methadone dosages and concentrations measured by hair analysis. Further investigation is needed to clarify interindividual differences.

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