Profiling of drugs of abuse : a new method for amphetamine
In the literature survey, a summary of chemical impurity profiling methods is presented for the most common drugs. These include cannabis, LSD, heroin, cocaine and amphetamine-type stimulants. The survey also details the statistical techniques commonly used for profiling. The main aim of the experimental work was carried out as part of a European project to develop a harmonised amphetamine profiling method which could be applied at national laboratories utilising an international database. The optimisation of the method was divided into four steps including (i) identification and synthesis of standard impurities, (ii) optimisation of the GC method, (iii) optimisation of the extraction procedure and (iv) evaluation of the suitability of the method between different laboratories. Ten standard substances were synthesised and the structure of the compounds confirmed through spectrometric data. The optimisation of the GC method was based on the optimisation of sample introduction, chromatography and detection. In the optimisation of the extraction procedure, liquid-liquid extraction (LLE) and solid phase extraction (SPE) techniques were compared. Using the optimised profiling method, several synthesised amphetamine batches and street samples were analysed. Repeatability and reproducibility at the intra- and inter-laboratory level indicated that the method is suitable to use as the harmonised method at national laboratories utilising a common database.