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Impurities in Illicit Drug Preparations: Amphetamine and Methamphetamine

NCJ Number
Forensic Science Review Volume: 1 Issue: 1 Dated: (June 1989) Pages: 1-11
A M A Verweij
Date Published
11 pages
The chromatographic and mass spectral properties of already identified impurities found in illicit preparations of amphetamine and methamphetamine are detailed with attention to "chemical signature" analysis.
The author describes the most commonly employed methods of synthesis of these drugs with emphasis on the Leuckart route, a preferred method for producing amphetamine illegally. The importance of identifying contaminants is emphasized, and isolation and preconcentration methods for the impurities are discussed. Since improper purification in the end stage of the synthesis used in manufacture of the drugs causes most of the contaminants found, it is possible to use so-called "route specific" impurities to differentiate between the several kinds of illegal drug preparation. Included are mass spectral and some chromatographic properties of impurities already known to be present in amphetamine and methamphetamine. 12 tables, 48 references. (Author abstract modified)


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