Author(s): Dams R, Benijts T, Lambert WE, Massart DL, De Leenheer AP, Dams R, Benijts T, Lambert WE, Massart DL, De Leenheer AP
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Abstract Heroin is still one of the most frequently abused drugs of today. All over the world, law enforcement agencies try to eradicate the illicit production and trafficking of this potent and highly addictive narcotic. To this aim, important information is provided by physical and chemical toxicological analysis of confiscated samples, with special attention for the identification and the quantification of minor components, such as the impurities related to the origin and manufacturing. By combining these data complex characterisations, i.e. impurity profiles, chemical signatures or fingerprints, can be obtained and used for comparative analysis. This review focuses on heroin impurity profiling during the 1990s, proclaimed by the United Nations as the 'Decade for Eradicating Drug Abuse'. Special attention will be given to the new trends in analytical techniques as well as in data handling strategies, so called chemometrics, to produce these profiles. The latter can be used in comparative analysis of seized heroin samples for tactical (batch-to-batch comparison) and strategic (origin determination) intelligence purposes.
This article was published in Forensic Sci Int
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research