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Peter T. Ausili Forensic Chemist, Drug Enforcement Administration North Central Laboratory (Presented to September 19, 2006)

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Forensic Chemistry

  • Peter T. Ausili
  • Forensic Chemist, Drug Enforcement Administration
  • North Central Laboratory
  • (Presented to September 19, 2006)
slide2

The following presentation does not reflect the comments

and/or opinions of the Drug Enforcement Administration or the U.S. Department of Justice.

slide5

Rules of engagement:

  • You must ask questions – or I will
  • I am not here to lecture about drugs-unfortunately, I can’t avoid the subject completely
  • Learn something and have FUN
slide6

Introduction

  • Chemistry
  • Legal Issues
    • Capacities
    • Bicarb ?
  • Pharmacology-Drug action
  • Miscellaneous
  • About DEA
slide7

CHEMISTRY

  • Responsibility:
  • Analysis and identification of ALL CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
  • Identify all substances greater than 1%
  • Determine Salt, Isomer and Purity as appropriate
  • Identify Adulterants and Diluents
slide8

Chemical Analysis:

    • Sampling plan ?
  • Preliminary Screening
  • Confirmation:
    • GC/MS
    • FTIR
    • NMR
    • LC, LCMS
    • CE, CD-ORD
    • Purity
slide9

Legal

  • Production Capacity
    • Clandestine Laboratories
      • Theoritical Yield
      • Substance containing vs. actual
  • Why analyze Sodium Bicarbonate?
  • Sentencing commission guidelines

(Cure for insomnia)

slide10

Pharmacology

    • Why do people use drugs
    • Effects mimic natural chemicals in the body
    • Similar chemical structure act on the same receptor sites---with effects of different intensity and duration
slide11

KHAT (Catha Edulis)

  • Cathine
  • Cathinone
slide12

Background

  • Primarily cultivated in East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
  • Legal throughout most of Europe and Africa
  • Used since antiquity as a recreational and religious drug
    • Used by Alexander the Great
    • First historical reference in early 14th century
  • Important to the economies of Somalia, Yemen, Kenya and Ethiopia
  • More than 37 tons seized in the US in 2001 (EPIC)
slide13

Legal Status

- Cathinone- Schedule I Final Action 2/93

- Produces a euphoric effect similar to amphetamine in that

it stimulates the Central nervous system

- Begins to degrade 48 hours after harvesting

- Proper handling can prolong potency

- Cathine- Schedule IV Final action 6/88

Produces a much less stimulant effect that cathinone

slide14

Structural Similarities

Cathinone - I

Cathine - IV

Natural breakdown

slide15

Structural Similarities

Cathinone

Cathine

Amphetamine

Methamphetamine

slide16

Pharmacological Similarities

Cathine

Pseudoephedrine

Adrenaline

slide17

Laboratory Concerns

  • Handling and preservation of samples in the field
  • Storage space in the laboratory
  • Analysis-preservation-judicial integrity
    • Since cathinone is labile (likely to undergo chemical change) the preservation of the sample after analysis is critical.
slide18

Historical Commentary

KHAT is used in relatively poor regions, where the frequent lack of food encourages deficiency diseases. Consequently, in view of its stimulating effect, it is often not unnaturally regarded as a divine blessing. For populations with relatively few sources of distraction it constitutes a simple and convenient form of escapism.

Since khat is regarded as an excitant and stimulant like coffee, tea and the like, it is generally not considered prohibited by Koranic law and consequently there is no moral objection in Moslem countries against its abuse.

- Bulletin on Narcotics, 1956

.

slide19

Web sites

www.ncstl.org

www.ussc.gov

Lycaeum

Erowid

slide20

References

  • PIHKAL
  • TIHKAL
slide21

Court

    • As experts, we are not advocates we can only seek scientific truth
    • Unusual cases
      • Ayahuasca > DMT
slide22

Drug mixtures

  • Synergistic effects
    • MDMA
    • MDA
    • Caffeine
    • Lidocaine
    • Procaine
    • Diphenhydramine
    • Dimethylsulfone
slide23

About DEA

  • We are responsible for only 1 law
  • Eight Chemical Analysis Labs
  • One Computer Forensics Lab
  • 200 Chemists/6000 Agents
  • North Central Lab covers 13 States
slide24

Spectrum 33

4-Methoxyamphetamine

(PMA) M. W. 165

slide25

Spectrum 34

4-Methoxymethamphetamine

(PMMA) M. W. 179

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