Volume 27, Issue 2 (April 1982)

    Analysis of Fatalities from Acute Narcotism in a Major Urban Area

    (Received 28 May 1981; accepted 23 October 1981)

    Published Online: April

    CODEN: JFSOAD

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    Abstract

    The incidence of acute, fatal narcotism in San Francisco was determined to be 3.2% of all deaths (10 882) subject to medical examiner's inquiry in a five-year period. Heroin was responsible for the greatest number of these cases, usually accompanied by alcohol or other abused drugs. The median concentration of the heroin metabolite, morphine, in the blood in fatal cases was 20 /¼g/dL. Death from propoxyphene, the second most frequently encountered narcotic, was generally determined to be suicidal, while death from heroin was judged to be accidental. The highest rate occurred in black males between the ages of 21 and 30 years. The three most consistent findings were positive identification of the drug in the body (100% of the cases), pulmonary edema (90.4% of the cases), and microscopic liver changes (71.1% of the cases).


    Author Information:

    Pasi, A
    From the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, City and County of San Francisco, and the Toxicology Activity, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Pasi is currently at the Gerichtlich-medizinisches Institut, University of Zurich,

    Stephens, BG
    From the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, City and County of San Francisco, and the Toxicology Activity, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Pasi is currently at the Gerichtlich-medizinisches Institut, University of Zurich,

    Hine, CH
    From the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, City and County of San Francisco, and the Toxicology Activity, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Pasi is currently at the Gerichtlich-medizinisches Institut, University of Zurich,

    Allison, DJ
    From the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, City and County of San Francisco, and the Toxicology Activity, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Pasi is currently at the Gerichtlich-medizinisches Institut, University of Zurich,

    Wright, JA
    From the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner-Coroner, City and County of San Francisco, and the Toxicology Activity, Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Pasi is currently at the Gerichtlich-medizinisches Institut, University of Zurich,


    Stock #: JFS11491J

    ISSN: 0022-1198

    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11491J

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    Author
    Title Analysis of Fatalities from Acute Narcotism in a Major Urban Area
    Symposium , 0000-00-00
    Committee E30