Rapid analysis of surrendered or seized drug samples provides important intelligence for health (e.g. treatment or harm reduction), and custodial services. Herein, three in-situ techniques, GC-MS, 1H NMR and FT-IR spectroscopy, with searchable libraries, are used to analyse 318 samples qualitatively, using technique specific library-based searches, obtained over the period 24th – 29th August 2019. 259 samples were identified as consisting of a single component, of which cocaine was the most prevalent (n = 158). Median match scores for all three techniques were ≥ 0.84 and showed agreement except for metformin (n = 1), oxandrolone (identified as vitamin K by IR (n = 4)), diazepam (identified as zolpidem by FT-IR (n = 2)) and 2-Br-4,5-DMPEA (n = 1), a structural isomer of 2C-B identified as a polymer of cellulose (cardboard) by FT-IR. 51 samples were found to consist of two or more components, of which 49 were adulterated cocaine samples (45 binary and 4 tertiary samples). GC-MS identified all components present in the 49 adulterated cocaine samples, whereas IR identified only cocaine in 88 % of cases (adulterant only = 12 %). The breakdown for 1H NMR spectroscopy was all components identified (51 %), cocaine only (33 %), adulterant only (10 %), cocaine and one adulterant (tertiary mixtures only, 6 %).
- Drug detection
- Harm reduction