Analysis of cocaine adulterants and their metabolites in real patient urine samples
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Cocaine is one of the most common drugs of abuse in the United States today, but street-quality cocaine is decreasing in purity each year. This change in purity requires a shift in the focus of cocaine analysis in forensic laboratories. In recent years, many federal agencies have begun testing and profiling for the adulterants and diluents present in cocaine samples submitted as evidence. By analyzing the compounds present in the street-quality samples, forensic chemists may be able to track the cocaine back to its source, based on the unique identities of certain adulterants. Many of the adulterants currently being added to cocaine are dangerous on their own, even though they may enhance the effects of the cocaine. For this reason many doctors and forensic pathologists are interested in the identities of the adulterants present. Often times, a sample of the cocaine ingested may not be available for testing. Thus, there is a need for the development of methods to test for these adulterants and their metabolites in biological samples. The objective of this research is to develop extraction and instrumental analysis methods for several common cocaine adulterant metabolites, in an effort to create a geographical profile of human urine samples that tested positive for benzoylecgonine, a cocaine metabolite, and exploring the possible trends.
Thesis (M.S.)--Boston University