Advertisement

Pharmaceutisch Weekblad

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 203–211 | Cite as

Analytical studies on illicit heroin

V. Efficacy of volatilization during heroin smoking
  • Henk Huizer
Original Articles

Abstract

The recovery of heroin in fumes was investigated. In the Netherlands the common mode of heroin smoking is the ‘chasing the dragon’ procedure: heroin is heated on an aluminium foil by a lighter and the fumes are inhaled. The efficiency of the volatilization of heroin using this procedure was studied under laboratory conditions using thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography and high pressure liquid chromatography. A considerable influence of the form (salt or base) of the heroin was found as well as strong influences of other substances that may be present in illicit heroin samples as diluents. The danger of the inhalation of fumes containing unknown pyrolysis products is mentioned and a hypothesis is given for the phenomenon of ‘heroin’-leucoencephalopathy that was observed in heroin smokers in Amsterdam in 1981. The types of heroin encountered in the Netherlands are discussed with regard to their suitability for smoking.

Key words

Barbital Caffeine Chromatography Diacetylmorphine Narcotics Procaine Pyrolysis Strychnine Toxicology Volatilization 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Anonymous. Les mystérieuses pilules d'heroine à fumer. Bull Stupef 1953;5(2):54–9.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Anonymous. Chasing the dragon. The smoking of heroin in Hong Kong. Bull Narc 1958;10(3):6–7.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mari F, Bertol E, Tosti M. Heroin in the Florence area, Italy. Bull Narc 1982;34(1):37–44.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Van Vendeloo F, Franke JP, De Zeeuw RA. Fingerprint analysis of illicit heroin samples by gas chromatography. Pharm Weekbl [Sci] 1980;2:129–36.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Huizer H, Logtenberg H, Steenstra AJ. Heroin in The Netherlands. Bull Narc 1977;29(4):65–74.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Moore JM, Allen AC, Cooper DA. Determination of manufacturing impurities in heroin by capillary gas chromatography with electron capture detection after derivatization with heptafluorobutyric anhydride. Anal Chem 1984:56:642–6.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    O'Neill PJ, Gough TA. Illicity imported heroin products: Some physical and chemical features indicative of their origin. Part 11. J Forensic Sci 1985;30:681–91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Müller EM, Neumann H, Fritschi G, Halder T, Schneider E. Vergleichende gaschromatographische Untersuchungen von Heroinproben. Arch Kriminol 1984;173:29–35.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Huizer H, Jellema RJ. Internal yearly reports on drugs. Rijswijk/Amsterdam: Forensic Science Laboratory and Laboratory of the Municipal Police Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1979–1986.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ito R. Amount of effective component which passes into smoke when heroin is smoked. Jpn J Med Sci iv Pharmacol Trans 1936;9:177 (via Chemical Abstracts 1937;31:80225).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Netze JP. Volatility of opiates [Report]. Leiden: State University of Leiden, 1978.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gruhzit CC. Pharmacological investigation and evaluation of the effects of combined barbiturate and heroin inhalation by addicts. Bull Narc 1958;10:8–11.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mo BP, Way EL. An assessment of inhalation as a mode of administration of heroin by addicts. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1966;154:142–51.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cook CE, Brine DR. Pyrolysis products of heroin. J Forensic Sci 1985;30:251–61.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Anonymous. The Merck Index. 10th ed. Rahway: Merck & Co. Inc., 1983.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Anonymous. British Pharmacopoeia 1963. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wolters ECh, Stam FC, Lousberg RJ, et al. Leucoencephalopathy after inhaling ‘heroin’ pyrolysate. Lancet 1982;2:1233–7.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Wolters ECh, Van Wyngaarden GK, Stam FC, et al. ‘Heroine’-leuko-encefalopathie; spongiforme leukomyelo-encefalopathie na inhalatie van het pyrolysaat van verontreinigde heroine. [‘Heroin’ leucoencephalopathy; spongiform leueo-myelo-encephalopathy after inhalation of the pyrolysate of contaminated heroin]. Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 1982;126:508–14.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Clarke EGC. Isolation and identification of drugs. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1969.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Eskes D, Brown JK. Heroin-caffeine-strychnine mixtures. Where and why? Bull Narc 1975;27(1):67–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Previous papers in these series are:

  1. 21.
    Huizer H. Analytical studies on illicit heroin. 1. The occurrence ofO 3-Monoacetylmorphine. J Forensic Sci 1983;28:32–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 22.
    Huizer H. Analytical studies on illicit heroin. 11. Comparison of samples. J Forensic Sci 1983;28:40–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 23.
    Huizer H. Analytical studies on illicit heroin, 111. Autointerference in the colorimetric determination of strychnine in illicit heroin samples. Pharm Weekbl [Sci] 1983;5:254–5. (Part iv is in preparation).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Dutch Association for Advancement of Pharmacy 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henk Huizer
    • 1
  1. 1.Forensic Science LaboratoryMinistry of JusticeGD RijswijkThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations