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Lotspeich E.,Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis | Kitts K.,Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis | Kitts K.,AIT Laboratories | Goodpaster J.,Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis
Forensic Science International | Year: 2012

It is a common misconception that the amount of explosive is the chief contributor to the quantity of vapor that is available to trained canines. In fact, this quantity (known as odor availability) depends not only on the amount of explosive material, but also the container volume, explosive vapor pressure and temperature. In order to better understand odor availability, headspace experiments were conducted and the results were compared to theory. The vapor-phase concentrations of three liquid explosives (nitromethane, nitroethane and nitropropane) were predicted using the Ideal Gas Law for containers of various volumes that are in use for canine testing. These predictions were verified through experiments that varied the amount of sample, the container size, and the temperature. These results demonstrated that the amount of sample that is needed to saturate different sized containers is small, predictable and agrees well with theory. In general, and as expected, once the headspace of a container is saturated, any subsequent increase in sample volume will not result in the release of more vapors. The ability of canines to recognize and alert to differing amounts of nitromethane has also been studied. In particular, it was found that the response of trained canines is independent of the amount of nitromethane present, provided it is a sufficient quantity to saturate the container in which it is held. © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Plasencia A.M.A.,Washington University in St. Louis | Mowry J.,Indiana University | Smith J.,Indiana University | Quigley K.,AIT Laboratories
Clinical Toxicology | Year: 2014

Context. Fentanyl patches are intended for transdermal use to treat pain. However, these patches have been abused by ingestion, offering a unique mode of drug delivery with unknown drug release characteristics.Objectives. In vitro fentanyl release from patches in simulated gastric and intestinal fluid was evaluated.Materials and methods. Ten 75 mcg/hr fentanyl transdermal patches (Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., Morgantown, WV), simulated gastric fluid without enzymes, and USP simulated intestinal fluid (Ricca Chemical Company, Arlington, TX) were obtained. Each fentanyl patch was placed into either 100 mL of simulated gastric fluid or 100 mL of simulated intestinal fluid. Flasks were agitated at 24 rpm while incubated at 36.8°C. Fluid was sampled at time zero and 5, 15, 30, 60, 120, and 180 min after submersion. Fentanyl was assayed using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (AIT Laboratories, Indianapolis, IN).Results. An average of 239 mcg and 1,962 mcg of fentanyl was released into gastric fluid and 338 mcg and 3,139 mcg into intestinal fluid in 5 min and 3 h, respectively. An average of 26% and 41% of 7.65 mg of fentanyl contained within the 75 mcg/hr patch was released into gastric and intestinal fluid in 3 h, respectively (p = 0.169, Student's t-test).Discussion. Our results demonstrate fentanyl release within 5 min of submersion.Conclusion. These results help support the potential rapid onset of clinical compromise reported and are relevant to the design of future pharmacokinetic studies of fentanyl release from transdermal patches. Copyright © 2014 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.


Milman G.,U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse | Schwope D.M.,U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse | Schwilke E.W.,U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse | Schwilke E.W.,AIT Laboratories | And 5 more authors.
Clinical Chemistry | Year: 2011

BACKGROUND: Oral fluid (OF) testing is increasingly important for drug treatment, workplace, and drugged-driving programs. There is interest in predicting plasma or whole-blood concentrations from OF concentrations; however, the relationship between these matrices is incompletely characterized because of few controlled drug-administration studies. METHODS: Ten male daily cannabis smokers received around-the-clock escalating 20-mg oral Δ 9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, dronabinol) doses (40-120 mg/day) for 8 days. Plasma and OF samples were simultaneously collected before, during, and after dosing. OF THC, 11-hydroxy-THC and 11-nor-9-carboxy-THC (THCCOOH) were quantified by GC-MS at 0.5-μg/L, 0.5-μg/L, and 7.5-ng/L limits of quantification (LOQs), respectively. In plasma, the LOQs were 0.25 μg/L for THC and THCCOOH, and 0.5 μg/L for 11-hydroxy-THC. RESULTS: Despite multiple oral THC administrations each day and increasing plasma THC concentrations, OF THC concentrations generally decreased over time, reflecting primarily previously self-administered smoked cannabis. The logarithms of the THC concentrations in oral fluid and plasma were not significantly correlated (r= -0.10; P = 0.065). The OF and plasma THCCOOH concentrations, albeit with 1000-fold higher concentrations in plasma, increased throughout dosing. The logarithms of OF and plasma THCCOOH concentrations were significantly correlated (r = 0.63; P < 0.001), although there was high interindividual variation. A high OF/plasma THC ratio and a high OF THC/THCCOOH ratio indicated recent cannabis smoking. CONCLUSIONS: OF monitoring does not reliably detect oral dronabinol intake. The time courses of THC and THCCOOH concentrations in plasma and OF were different after repeated oralTHCdoses, and high interindividual variation was observed. For these reasons, OF cannabinoid concentrations cannot predict concurrent plasma concentrations. © 2011 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.


Weimer M.B.,Oregon Health And Science University | Korthuis P.T.,Oregon Health And Science University | Behonick G.S.,AIT Laboratories | Wunsch M.J.,TASL Clinic
Journal of Addiction Medicine | Year: 2011

Objectives: Methadone-related overdose deaths increased in the United States by 468% from 1999 to 2005. Current studies associate the nonmedical use of methadone with methadone-related deaths. This study describes medical examiner cases in rural Virginia in 2004 with methadone identified by toxicology and compares cases according to source of methadone. Methods: In 2004, all intentional and unintentional poisoning deaths from the Office of The Chief Medical Examiner, Western District of Virginia, were reviewed to identify cases in which methadone was a direct or contributing cause of death. The Virginia Prescription Monitoring Program was reviewed for prescription opioids in the name of these identified decedents. Decedent participation in local opioid treatment programs (OTP) was also assessed. Results: The source of methadone in the 61 methadone-related overdose deaths was mostly nonprescribed (67%), although 28% of decedents were prescribed methadone for analgesia. Only 5% of decedents were actively enrolled in an OTP. The majority of deaths were attributed to polysubstance overdose. Conclusions: The majority of methadone overdose deaths in this study were related to illicit methadone use, rather than prescribed or OTP uses. Interventions to decreasemethadone-related deaths should focus on reduction of nonprescription use of methadone. Copyright © 2011 American Society of Addiction Medicine.


Wunsch M.J.,Kaiser Permanente | Nuzzo P.A.,University of Kentucky | Behonick G.,AIT Laboratories | Massello W.,North Dakota State Forensic Examiner | Walsh S.L.,University of Kentucky
Journal of Addiction Medicine | Year: 2013

Aim: Nonmedical use of prescription drugs and poisoning overdose deaths related to prescription drugs are increasing. This article presents an in-depth description of decedents from rural southwestern Virginia, where methadone was identified on toxicology. Methods: Cases for this study were derived from a population-based review of 893 drug-related deaths occurring from 1997 to 2003 in the Office of the Medical Examiner, Western District of Virginia. Results: Deaths in which methadone was identified on toxicology in rural southwestern Virginia increased rapidly over the 7-year study period. In the majority of cases, the cause of death was polydrug toxicity, and the manner of death was classified as accident. A majority of decedents did not have prescriptions for drugs identified on toxicology. The mean concentration of methadone for all cases was 495 mg/L, and there was no significant difference between concentrations where methadone was found alone or in combination with other drugs. There was a significant difference in methadone concentrations for those with prescriptions (645 mg/L vs 449 mg/L) when compared with those without. Conclusions: Cases where methadone was identified on toxicology increased significantly over the time studied. Efforts to prevent these deaths include the use of State Prescription Monitoring Programs, Universal Precautions, and Guidelines from the Federation of State Medical Boards. Copyright © 2013 American Society of Addiction Medicine.

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