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Yeakel J.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,Grove Labs
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2013

Twelve cases of suspected impaired driving are discussed in which the drivers who subsequently tested positive for synthetic cannabinoid drugs underwent a psychophysical assessment. The attitude of the drivers was described as cooperative and relaxed, speech was slow and slurred and coordination was poor. Pulse and blood pressure were generally elevated. Horizontal gaze nystagmus was assessed in nine of the subjects, but was present in only two. The most consistent indicator was a marked lack of convergence. In all cases where a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) officer evaluated and documented impairment (10 cases), it was attributed to the DRE cannabis category. Performance in field sobriety tests was variable, ranging from poor to minimal observable effect. Synthetic cannabinoid testing was performed by LC-MS-MS. Positive results included: JWH-018 (n = 4), 0.1-1.1 ng/mL; JWH-081 (n = 2) qualitative only; JWH-122 (n = 3), 2.= ng/mL; JWH-210 (n = 4), 0.1 ng/mL; JWH-2=0 (n = 1), 0.38 ng/mL and AM-2201 (n = 6), 0.43-4.0 ng/mL. While there is good evidence of psychophysical impairment in these subjects, further structured data collection is needed to fully assess the relationship between synthetic cannabinoid use and psychomotor and cognitive impairment. © The Author (2013). Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source


Logan B.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,Grove Labs | Mohr A.L.A.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Talpins S.K.,Institute for Behavior and Health Inc.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2014

The use of oral fluid (OF) drug testing devices offers the ability to rapidly obtain a drug screening result at the time of a traffic stop. We describe an evaluation of two such devices, the Dräger Drug Test 5000 and the Affiniton DrugWipe, to detect drug use in a cohort of drivers arrested from an investigation of drug impaired driving (n 5 92). Overall, 41% of these drivers were ultimately confirmed positive by mass spectrometry for the presence of one or more drugs. The most frequently detected drugs were cannabinoids (30%), benzodiazepines (11%) and cocaine (10%). Thirty-nine percent of drivers with blood alcohol concentrations >0.08 g/100 mL were found to be drug positive. Field test results obtained from OF samples were compared with collected OF and urine samples subsequently analyzed in the laboratory by gas or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. The Dräger Drug Test 5000 (DDT5000) and DrugWipe returned overall sensitivities of 51 and 53%, and positive predictive values of 93 and 63%, respectively. The most notable difference in performance was the DDT5000's better sensitivity in detecting marijuana use. Both devices failed to detect benzodiazepine use. Oral fluid proved to be a more effective confirmatory specimen, with more drugs being confirmed in OF than urine. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source


Yeakel J.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,Grove Labs
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2013

Butalbital (Fiorinal®), used in the treatment of migraines and muscle pain, is the most commonly encountered barbiturate in impaired driving cases. It has central nervous system (CNS) depressant properties, including sedation, drowsiness, and feelings of intoxication, which can contribute to driving impairment. Twenty-six driving under the influence cases are reviewed including results from field sobriety tests and toxicology testing. Blood samples were screened using enzyme multiplied immunoassay technique immunoassay, and the presence of butalbital was confirmed and quantified using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, gas chromatography with flame ionization detection, or gas chromatography nitrogen/phosphorus detection. Butalbital concentrations ranged from 1.0 to 30.2 mg/L, with a mean and median of 16.0 mg/L. General impairment indicators in these cases included horizontal and vertical nystagmus, lack of convergence, poor motor coordination, and balance and speech problems, which are common to CNS depressant intoxication, similar to that associated with alcohol. These findings indicate the importance of toxicological testing for butalbital in cases where CNS depressants are indicated. © 2013 American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Source


Papsun D.,Grove Labs | Krywanczyk A.,University of Vermont | Vose J.C.,Vermont Forensic Laboratory | Bundock E.A.,Office of the Chief Medical Examiner | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Toxicology | Year: 2016

MT-45 (1-cyclohexyl-4-(1,2-diphenylethyl)piperazine) is just one of the many novel psychoactive substances (NPS) to have reached the recreational drug market in the twenty-first century; it is however, one of the first designer opioids to achieve some degree of popularity, in a market currently dominated by synthetic cannabinoids and designer stimulants. A single fatality involving MT-45 and etizolam is described. A method for the quantitation of MT-45 in whole blood using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry was developed and validated. The linear range was determined to be 1.0-100 ng/mL with a detection limit of 1.0 ng/mL, and the method met the requirements for acceptable linearity, precision and accuracy. After analyzing the sample on dilution and by standard addition, the concentration of MT-45 in the decedent's blood was determined to be 520 ng/mL, consistent with other concentrations of MT-45 reported in drug-related fatalities. Etizolam was present at a concentration of 35 ng/mL. This case illustrates the importance of considering non-traditional drugs in unexplained apparent drug-related deaths. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source


Logan B.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Logan B.K.,Grove Labs | Yeakel J.K.,The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education | Goldfogel G.,Whatcom County Medical Examiners Office | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Forensic Sciences | Year: 2012

Dextromethorphan is a commonly encountered antitussive medication which has found additional therapeutic use in the treatment of pseudobulbar disorder and as an adjunct to opiate use in pain management. Dextromethorphan at high doses has phencyclidine-like effects on the NMDA receptor system; recreational use of high doses has been found to cause mania and hallucinations. The toxicology and pharmacology of the drug in abuse are reviewed, and the historical literature of adverse psychiatric outcomes is assessed. Five new cases of dextromethorphan intoxication that resulted in assault, suicide, and homicide are reported, together with the corresponding toxicology results. Blood concentrations ranged from 300 to 19,000μg/L. These results are compared with typical concentrations reported in therapeutic use and impaired driving cases. Based on these findings, dextromethorphan should be considered as a potential causative agent in subjects presenting with mania, psychosis, or hallucinations, and abusers are at risk for violent and self-destructive acts. © 2012 American Academy of Forensic Sciences. Source

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