Poppy Seed Consumption or Opiate Use: The Determination of Thebaine and Opiates of Abuse in Postmortem Fluids and Tissues
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROMEDICAL INST
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Opiates are some of the most widely prescribed drugs in America. Some opiate compounds are highly addictive and are often abused. Opiate abuse transcends all social, racial, and economic boundaries. Demonstrating the presence or absence of opiate compounds in postmortem fluids andor tissues derived from fatal civil aviation accidents can have serious legal consequences and may help determine the cause of impairment andor death. However, the consumption of poppy seed products can result in a positive opiate drug test. Therefore, the interpretation of positive opiate results must be viewed with caution. We have developed a simple method for the simultaneous determination of 8 opiate compounds from one extraction. These compounds are hydrocodone, dihydrocodeine, codeine, oxycodone, hydromorphone, 6-monoacetylmorphine, morphine, and thebaine. The inclusion of thebaine is notable as it is an indicator of poppy seed consumption and may help explain morphinecodeine positives in cases where no opiate use was indicated. This method incorporates a Zymark RapidTrace automated solid-phase extraction system, gas chromatographymass spectrometry, and trimethyl silane TMS and oxime-TMS derivitives. The limits of detection ranged from 0.78-12.5 ngmL. The linear dynamic range for most analytes was 6.25-1600 ngmL. The extraction efficiencies ranged from 70-103. We applied this method to 8 separate aviation fatalities where opiate compounds had previously been detected. The specimens analyzed for the determination of these 8 opiate compounds were blood, urine, liver, kidney, and skeletal muscle. This method has proven to be simple, robust, and accurate for the simultaneous determination of 8 opiate compounds in postmortem fluids and tissues.
- Organic Chemistry
- Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
- Commercial and General Aviation