Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Erowid References Database
Tagliaro F, Valentini R, Manetto G, Crivellente F, Carli G, Marigo M. 
“Hair analysis by using radioimmunoassay, high-performance liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis to investigate chronic exposure to heroin, cocaine and/or ecstasy in applicants for driving licences”. 
Forensic Sci Int. 2000;107(1-3):121-8.
The present paper describes an integrated diagnostic strategy to check the physical fitness of subjects, formerly users of illicit drugs, to obtain a driving license, after having quit their addiction. According to the Italian law, applicants for a driving license with a history of drug abuse must give evidence to have quit this behaviour and to show no risk of relapse in the future. To prove this, at our institute, they undergo medical examination, hair analysis and a urinalysis program on eight seriate samples, collected over about 40 days. About 700 subjects per year are investigated with this strategy. The hair samples are screened for opiates (morphine), cocaine and ecstasy, the most abused illicit substances in our region, by using commercial radioimmunoassays adopting cut-off levels of 0.1 ng/mg. All positive samples and about 10% of negatives are confirmed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Further confirmation of results can be carried out by capillary electrophoresis (and/or GC/MS or MS/MS). In 1998, the prevalence of positives for morphine, cocaine and ecstasy was 4.8, 11.3 and 2.6%, respectively. In this year, for the first time, the percentage of hair samples positive for cocaine was greater than that for opiates. The results of this integrated diagnostic strategy are presented and discussed, with particular emphasis on the comparison between hair analysis on a single sample and seriate urinalyses (on eight samples).
Comments and Responses to this Article
Submit Comment
[ Cite HTML ]