Journal Published Online: 01 March 1998
Volume 43, Issue 2

Evidence of Polydrug Use Using Hair Analysis: A Fatal Case Involving Heroin, Cocaine, Cannabis, Chloroform, Thiopental and Ketamine



A case is presented involving a young woman on several illicit drugs (heroin, cocaine and cannabis) as well as two medications and a solvent used for their anesthetic and narcotic properties: thiopental, ketamine and chloroform. This complex drug use was supported by hair analysis over a 10.5 cm segment of the hair taken at autopsy. The average measured concentrations in hair were: thiopental = 5.3 ng/mg, pentobarbital = 10.0 ng/mg, ketamine = 11.3 ng/mg norketamine = 1.0 ng/mg, diazepam = 1.2 ng/mg, nordiazepam = 0.1 ng/mg, 6-acetylmorphine = 4.4 ng/mg, morphine = 3.4 ng/mg, codeine = 1.2 ng/mg, cocaine = 5.5 ng/mg, benzoylecgonine = 1.5 ng/mg and methylecgonine ester = 1.0 ng/mg. While the ketamine/norketamine ratio is consistent with that already reported on drug detection in hair, the thiopental/pentobarbital ratio seems to be inverted.

Author Information

Gaillard, Y
Pépin, G
Pages: 4
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS16164J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS16164J