SOFT - TIAFT 1998 Scientific Session 1 Wednesday October 7, 1998
Click Picture Maciej J.Bogusz, Wiebke Früchtnicht, Rolf-Dieter Maier

Institute of Forensic Medicine, Aachen University of Technology, D-52057 Aachen, Germany

The purpose of the study was to test whether the determination of all possible heroin metabolites in blood may bring new information facilitating the correlation between the symptoms and analytical findings.

In the presented pilot phase 40 cases were analyzed from the period February 1997 to May 1998. On the basis of circumstantial information two groups were formed: "road traffic offenses" or "drivers" (n=14) and "other offenses" (n=26). As a sources of this information the police and court files and the results of medical examination before the blood sampling were used. Blood concentrations of morphine, M3G, M6G, 6MAM, codeine and C6G were determined by HPLC-APCI-MS. Other relevant drugs (cocaine, cannabinoids, amphetamines, benzodiazepines etc.) were analyzed by LC-MS or GC-MS after immunoassay screening. In both groups polydrug use was observed: only one "driver" and three "other offenders" had solely morphine and morphine metabolites in their blood. In all other cases, one to three additional drugs (cocaine, cannabinoids, methadone, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, ethanol) were detected. The concentrations of morphine and its active metabolite M6G in the group of "drivers" ranged from 3 to 80 µg/L and 8 to 248 µg/L, respectively. In the group of "other offenders" morphine concentrations were 1 to 95 µg/L and M6G 15 to 278 µg/L.

The determination of M6G as active heroin/morphine metabolite may bring new information concerning the exposition to opiates particularly in the view of new German law defining the mere presence of some drugs of abuse such as heroin or morphine in the blood of a driver as an offense.

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