Volume 45, Issue 5 (September 2000)
Identification of Heroin in Street Doses Using 1D-TOCSY Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
Heroin street doses are complex mixtures commonly analyzed in forensic laboratories. Identification of the illicit substance in these street doses is among the primary analytical tasks of a forensic laboratory. We demonstrate that the one-dimensional 1D-TOCSY NMR experiment permits identification of heroin in standard mixtures containing up to ten or more different components. This method produces an easily-identified and effective “fingerprint” for heroin within a mixture of other substances. The method has been successfully tested as a tool for identification of heroin in street doses from police casework in Israel. This NMR technique is robust and quick (a measurement can be carried out in 10–15 min), and it does not require any preliminary physical or chemical treatments of the sample to be examined, due to the effective spectroscopic “filtering” of the interfering components. The 1D-TOCSY NMR method can potentially be used in combination with additional analytical methods as a routine tool in forensic laboratories to positively identify heroin for court purposes.