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Forensic Sci Int. 1997 Sep 19;89(1-2):111-28.

Hair concentrations and self-reported abuse history of 20 amphetamine and ecstasy users.

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  • 1Institute of Forensic Medicine, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany.


Hair samples of 20 volunteers of the techno-music scene, who more or less regularly consumed ecstasy tablets and speed and anonymously reported their abuse history, were analyzed in one to seven 3 cm segments for amphetamine (A), methamphetamine (MA), methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA), methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), methylenedioxyethamphetamine (MDE) and N-methyl-1-(1,3-benzodioxol-5-yl)-2-butylamine (MBDB) by digestion in 1 M NaOH, subsequent extraction with C18 Bond Elut columns, derivatization with pentafluoropropionyl anhydride and GC/MS-SIM measurements using deuterated standards of A, MA, MDA and MDMA. The concentrations were in the regions 0.1 to 4.8 ng/mg for A (17 samples), 0.05 to 0.89 ng/mg for MDA (16 samples), 0.1 to 8.3 ng/mg for MDMA (16 samples), 0.12 to 15 ng/mg for MDE (13 samples) and 0.21 to 1.3 ng/mg for MBDB (2 samples). MA was not detected. For comparison the frequency and the concentration of these drugs in 124 different ecstasy tablets were determined by HPLC. The drug concentration in the hair segments were compared with the volunteers' reports. Despite the enormous interindividual differences qualitatively an increase of the total concentration of MDA, MDMA and MDE in the proximate 3 cm segments with increasing ecstasy abuse frequency during the last three month before sampling is recognized. In the individual comparison with the chronological consumer reports in most cases a longer interruption or a change of the abuse intensity is not clearly seen at the segment concentrations. As a reason the incorporation of the drugs from sweat into elder hair regions and the slow removal by washing are discussed.

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