Volume 38, Issue 3 (May 1993)
Opiate Concentrations in Human Head, Axillary, and Public Hair
The concentrations of morphine and codeine were investigated in hair from the head, axillary and public regions obtained from 12 fatal heroin cases. Hair preparation involves a decontamination procedure in dichloromethane at 37°C for 15 min, solubilization in sodium hydroxyde at 100°C for 5 min, neutralization with hydrochloric acid and centrifugation. After extraction in chloroform-isopropanol-n-heptane (50:17:33; v/v) at pH 9.2, drugs were derivatized with BSTFA + 1% TMCS and separated on a 12-m BP-5 capillary column. Quantification was done by GC/MS using selected ion monitoring. The highest morphine concentrations were found in public hair (0.80 to 41.34 ng/mg), followed by hair of the head (0.62 to 27.10 ng/mg), and axillary hair (0.40 to 24.20 ng/mg). Codeine was also detected in all samples, and the codeine-to-morphine ratios ranged from 0.069 to 0.273. The differences observed in drug concentration in the 3 types of hair are discussed in the light of the existing literature.