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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134640 Find in a Library
Title: Testing Human Hair for Drugs of Abuse. III. Identification of Heroin and 6-Acetylmorphine as Indicators of Heroin Use
Journal: Journal of Analytical Toxicology  Volume:15  Dated:(September/October 1991)  Pages:226-231
Author(s): B A Goldberger; Y H Caplan; T Maguire; E J Cone
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 6
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Hair samples from 20 heroin users were analyzed and found to contain 6-acetylmorphine, a unique metabolite of heroin. Heroin was found in small amounts in seven samples.
Abstract: The findings suggest that hair analysis for 6-acetylmorphine can be used to distinguish between heroin use and other types of opiate exposure. These findings are significant because the short half-lives of both heroin and 6-acetylmorphine make it difficult to detect them in blood, plasma, or urine samples. The discovery that heroin and its metabolite remain in hair over extended periods of time reflects the unusual stability of heroin analytes in a protein matrix. However, environmental contamination can potentially produce false positives during opiate testing; the results suggest that environmental contamination will be difficult to differentiate from active heroin use. Nonetheless, this procedure could be used to supplement urine testing when only morphine is detected. 2 figures, 2 tables, and 26 references
Main Term(s): Hair and fiber analysis; Heroin
Index Term(s): Urinalysis
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