Evaluation of amphetamine-type stimulant abuse through hair analysis: Results from 12 years of work

  • Irena Brčić Karačonji Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health
  • Nataša Brajenović Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health
Keywords: GC/MS, MDMA, methamphetamine, quantitative determination

Abstract

Hair analysis is a reliable tool for detecting long-term exposure to illegal drugs, including amphetamine-type stimulants, over periods from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the length of the hair used for analysis. Between 2000 and 2012, over 600 hair samples were analysed at the Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Croatia (IMROH) for the presence of amphetamine-type stimulants. IMROH has used the same procedure for testing hair samples for amphetamine-type stimulants for over twelve years. It was found to be reliable for confirming repeated abuse of amphetamine-type stimulants. Gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) was used to determine amphetamine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA-Ecstasy), and 3,4-methylenedioxyethylamphetamine (MDEA) in hair. Hair samples were either taken at the Institute, delivered by mail or a third person brought them to the laboratory. In most cases, the hair samples were tested anonymously. A total of 23 % of the tested samples were positive for one or more amphetamine-type stimulant. MDMA was the most frequently detected substance, whereas the most frequent combination was amphetamine with MDMA. Our results could indicate a trend in amphetamine-type stimulant abuse among young people in the Republic of Croatia.
Published
2014-06-09
How to Cite
1.
Brčić Karačonji I, Brajenović N. Evaluation of amphetamine-type stimulant abuse through hair analysis: Results from 12 years of work. Arh Hig Rada Toksikol [Internet]. 2014Jun.9 [cited 2022Oct.1];65(2). Available from: https://arhiv.imi.hr/index.php/arhiv/article/view/181
Section
Professional paper

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