International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 123, Issue 5, pp 363–369 | Cite as

Cocaine and opiate concentrations in hair from subjects in a heroin maintenance program in comparison to a methadone substituted group

  • Frank MusshoffEmail author
  • Katrin Lachenmeier
  • Dirk Lichtermann
  • Burkhard Madea
Original Article


One month before (T-1) and 12 months after (T12) controlled i.v. administration of pharmaceutical heroin–HCl (10–100 mg/day) in the context of a heroin maintenance program (HMP), concentrations of opiates and cocaine as well as its metabolites were determined in head hair (n = 46) using a validated gas chromatographic–mass spectrometric method. In addition, a patient collective of a methadone maintenance program (MMP, daily doses 15–260 mg) was examined (n = 35). The incidence of additional cocaine consumption decreased in both groups during the study period (T-1 to T12): in HMP from 64.6% to 45.8% and in MMP from 71.4% to 60.0%. A significant reduction of cocaine consumption was defined as an at least 30% reduction of analyte concentrations in hair (Δc > 30%). Accordingly, in HMP, a decrease in 45.8% of initially (T-1) cocaine-positive patients was determined; in MMP, the reduction was 48.6%. In 22.9% of HMP and 37.1% of MMP, an increase of cocaine concentrations was detected. Codeine and acetylcodeine were found in 50.0% and 43.5% (T-1) and 13.0% and 10.9% (T12) of the samples of the HMP, as well as in 45.7% and 25.7% (T-1) and 17.1% and 5.7% (T12) in MMP, respectively. The missing of acetylcodeine, in particular at T-1, questions its applicability as a characteristic marker of a preceding consumption of illicit heroin in hair analysis.


Heroin maintenance program Hair analysis Opiates Acetylcodeine GC/MS 

Supplementary material

414_2008_272_MOESM1_ESM.doc (50 kb)
Table S1 GC–MS procedure: mean measurement values, residual standard deviation (RSD), intraday and interday precision (P) and accuracy at concentrations of 0.5, 5 and 25 ng/mg (49.5 KB)
414_2008_272_MOESM2_ESM.doc (247 kb)
Table S2 Concentrations of heroin, 6-monoacetylmorphine, morphine, codeine, acetylcodeine, cocaine, cocaethylene and benzoylecgonine (in ng/mg) analysed with GC–MS in hair of participants of the heroin maintenance program at T-1 and T12 (247 KB)
414_2008_272_MOESM3_ESM.doc (166 kb)
Table S3 Concentrations of heroin, 6-monoacetylmorphine, morphine, codeine, acetylcodeine, cocaine, cocaethylene and benzoylecgonine (in ng/mg) analysed with GC-MS in hair of participants of the methadone maintenance program at T-1 and T12 (165 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Musshoff
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katrin Lachenmeier
    • 1
  • Dirk Lichtermann
    • 2
  • Burkhard Madea
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Forensic MedicineUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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