Two unique metabolites of cocaine, cocaethylene and norcocaine, were identified by GC/MS in the hair of cocaine users. Their presence cannot be explained by environmental contamination; thus, their presence together with cocaine provides convincing evidence that cocaine is excreted in hair after active cocaine administration. The amount of cocaine in hair predominated over all metabolites generally by a factor of 5-10. Two washing procedures were evaluated for their efficiency in removal of cocaine from environmentally contaminated hair. Neither procedure completely removed cocaine, suggesting that false positives can result from environmental contamination. Analysis of the methanolic wash of the hair of cocaine users also revealed the presence of cocaine metabolites, indicating that washing removes cocaine from the interior as well as from the exterior surface of hair during decontamination procedures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Environmental Chemistry
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
- Chemical Health and Safety