Author(s): Kunsman GW, Levine B, Kuhlman JJ, Jones RL, Hughes RO,
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Abstract Urine specimens collected from active-duty U.S. Army personnel were submitted for analysis to the Tripler Army Medical Center, Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory as part of the random drug testing program. During an 18-month drug-screening period, 34 specimens tested positive for amphetamines with the Roche Abuscreen Radioimmunoassay for Methamphetamine (High Specificity); based on gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis, the presence of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) was suspected. These samples were subsequently submitted to the Division of Forensic Toxicology, Office of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology for further testing. All 34 samples screened positive using both the Abbott TDx Amphetamine/ Methamphetamine II assay and the Amphetamine class assay. Confirmation and quantitation by GC-MS revealed the presence of both MDMA and 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) in all samples. The MDMA concentrations ranged from 0.38 to 96.2 mg/L (mean, 13.4 mg/L) and the MDA concentrations ranged from 0.15 to 8.6 mg/L (mean, 1.6 mg/L). The mean ratio of MDA, the N-demethylation metabolite of MDMA, to MDMA was 0.15, similar to the ratio of amphetamine, the N-demethylation metabolite of methamphetamine, to methamphetamine of 0.10. The presence of MDA in urine specimens at a concentration approximately 10-15\% that of the MDMA present is consistent with MDMA metabolism, which may be indicative of the use of MDMA only, as compared with the combined use of both drugs.
This article was published in J Anal Toxicol
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research