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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 203498 Find in a Library
Title: Chemical Profiling of 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) Tablets Seized in Hong Kong
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:48  Issue:6  Dated:November 2003  Pages:1249-1259
Author(s): Wing-Chi Cheng Ph.D.; Nai-Leung Poon Ph.D.; Man-Fai Chan MPhil
Date Published: November 2003
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the chemical compositions, impurities, and salts of crystallization of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ecstasy.
Abstract: In addition to physical characterization of ecstasy tablets, profiling of chemical compositions with respect to active ingredient(s), other drugs, and/or the impurities present and the salt of crystallization associated with the active ingredient could yield valuable information for drug intelligence. A forensic drug laboratory in Hong Kong played a role in developing a sound protocol for gathering essential information to assist law enforcement agencies in determining the origin and the plausible synthetic routes of seized ecstasy tablets. An account of the current situation with ecstasy abuse in Hong Kong and the endeavor to establish a protocol for chemical profiling of MDMA tablets are presented. Authentic standards of MDMA, ketamine, and methoxyphenamine were purchased and analyzed. The results show that intelligence studies solely based on physical appearance of ecstasy tablets are insufficient. This study demonstrated the use of chemical profiling, collectively using the active ingredient(s) found, quantitative data; other drugs present; the synthetic impurities; and the salts of crystallization of MDMA in correlating tablets with similar chemical profiles, whether or not they bear the similar physical appearances. It can also provide such information as different consignments of tablets produced, and plausible synthetic routes. While extensive correlation of all the cases received by this laboratory using chemical profiling is beyond the scope of the present work, the latter forms the basics of analytical profiling of illicit drugs. Chemical profiling will be beneficial to law enforcement agencies for intelligence purposes in tracing the source of ecstasy tablets. 5 tables, 11 figures, 31 references
Main Term(s): Drug research; MDMA (designer drug)
Index Term(s): Designer drugs; Drug analysis; Drug information; Medical research; Research methods; Scientific techniques
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