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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 220415 Find in a Library
Title: Screening Tablets for DOB Using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:52  Issue:5  Dated:September 2007  Pages:1063-1067
Author(s): Steven E.J. Bell Ph.D.; Louise A. Fido Ph.D.; Narayana M.S. Sirimuthu Ph.D.; S. James Speers B.Sc.; K. Laota Peters B.Sc.; Simon H. Cosbey B.Sc.
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 5
Type: Test/Measurement
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on the results of using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) in order to screen tablets for 2,5,-Dimethoxy-4-bromoamphetamine (DOB), which is of particular interest among the various "ecstasy" variants, because there is an unusually long delay between consumption and effect, which significantly increases the danger of an accidental overdose in users.
Abstract: On-tablet SERS was found to provide a rapid, straightforward, and unambiguous means for distinguishing between low-dose DOB tablets and tablets with no active constituent. The signal levels were very high, and the measurement was conducted by using standard colloids and 785-mm excitation, which is the wavelength of the lasers commonly used in benchtop Raman spectrometers. The detection limit is significantly lower than the active pharmacologic dose, and the test can be performed in less than 1 minute. The most common active compounds in seized "ecstasy" tablets are MDMA and 3,4-methylenedioxy-N-ethylamphetamine (MDEA). The average level of drug in tablets that contain these common active compounds is usually 50-100 mg per tablet; however, some "ecstasy-type" compounds are potent at much lower doses. The most notable of these compounds is DOB, which is active at 0.2 mg. When DOB is present in a tablet, users do not experience the rapid onset of effects obtained from MDMA. This may cause them to consume more tablets. When the effects arrive, they are of longer duration (12-24 hours), and they include the psychiatric dissociation effects that ecstasy users can suffer. SERS studies (785-nm excitation) were conducted on a series of model DOB/lactose tablets (total mass of approximately 400 mg) that contained between 1 mg and 15 mg of DOB. 1 table, 4 figures, and 23 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Drug overdose; Forensic sciences; MDMA (designer drug); Spectroscopy
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