Heroin (Diacetylmorphine) is an analgesic opioid synthesized by adding two acetyl groups to the molecule morphine, found in the opium poppy (normally from Afghanistan). Nowadays, the whole process is often illicit.
The illegal drug is a salt of the base, namely the hydrochloride, to which are added diluents (usually powdered sugar and lactose) and adulterants (as quinine, caffeine, paracetamol...) to increase its volume and to conceal the comparative lack of real heroine, or to enhance its effect.
Heroin is classified as the most dangerous drug due to both its direct health effects and its consumption methods (predominant use is injection, sniff and smoke).
According to UNODC ( United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) report of 2012, the estimated annual prevalence of opiods in 2010 was 0.6-0.8% of the population aged 15-64, nearly half of whom used opiates, particularly heroin. The consumption of heroin remains solid in Europe and particularly strong in Western countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy and France, with an increase in demand for this areas.
In the present work a single fast method to identify different street drugs and their adulterants. With this method it’s possible the determination of morphiine and codeine. Codeine can provide a positive result on screening methods for the class of opiates. It is, in fact, the active ingredient of certain anti-cough drug products or found in association with other active ingredients in pharmaceutical preparations with analgesic-antipyretic.
Based on TOF-MS approach, the proposed solution is able to detect expected and an unexpected components. While the analyst is doing target analysis, all the spectra are acquired and recorded at high sensitivity across the mass range.
A library search can identify the target compounds but can also identify molecules that were not “expected“ in this specific sample.