Journal Published Online: 01 May 1998
Volume 43, Issue 3

Detection of Cocaine on Various Denominations of United States Currency



The presence of cocaine on U.S. paper currency collected in many cities in the United States has previously been reported. Currency becomes contaminated during the exchange, storage and use of cocaine. Different currency denominations are also rolled by drug users and used to snort cocaine. Illicit cocaine is widely abused and therefore the contaminated paper currency can be easily found in common use. A total of 18 bills were analyzed in our laboratory for cocaine. Ten $20 bills were randomly collected in Rockford, IL and four $1 bills in Chicago. An additional four uncirculated S1 bills were analyzed as a control group. All bills were extracted with 0.1 M hydrochloric acid followed by solidphase extraction. Cocaine was identified using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry in full scan mode, and drug quantitation was performed in selected ion monitoring mode. A standard curve was prepared and doxepin was used as an internal standard. In addition, for method validation two levels of control solutions were analyzed simultaneously. Precision and accuracy values were within acceptable ranges. Cocaine was present on 92.8% of all bills collected from the general circulation. All $20 bills were contaminated with cocaine and the amount of drug varied from 0.14 to 10.02 µg of cocaine per bill (itx} = 2.86 µg). Only one $1 bill was cocaine free. In one case ($1 bill), only traces (below quantitation limit) of cocaine were found. All four uncirculated $1 bills were cocaine-free.

Author Information

Negrusz, A
College of Pharmacy, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Perry, JL
College of Pharmacy, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Moore, CM
U.S. Drug Testing Laboratories, Inc., Des Plaines, IL
Pages: 4
Price: $25.00
Reprints and Permissions
Reprints and copyright permissions can be requested through the
Copyright Clearance Center
Stock #: JFS16193J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS16193J