Blood Analysis for Traditional Drugs of Abuse

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Blood is the specimen of choice for detecting, quantifying, and interpreting drugs of abuse in forensic toxicology. The aim of this article is to review, summarize, and discuss the main topics related to the analysis of drugs of abuse in blood samples. The first topic to be addressed is the different types of blood samples, and the advantages and disadvantages of conventional serum, plasma, and whole blood compared with those of dried blood spot samples. The major part of the article is devoted to monographs on the different drug abuse classes focusing on the factors that can help to correctly interpret the analytical results including some pharmacokinetic data and metabolism. The drugs of abuse covered in this article are the four main classes, amphetamines, cannabis, cocaine, and heroin, with a short reference to other types of drugs, such as lysergic acid diethylamide, ketamine, and phencyclidine. The most abused prescribed drugs, the benzodiazepines, are also included.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Forensic Sciences
EditorsMax M Houck
Place of PublicationAmsterdam Netherlands
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780128236789
ISBN (Print)9780128236772
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Amphetamines
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Blood
  • Cannabis
  • Cocaine
  • Drugs of abuse
  • Forensic toxicology
  • Heroin
  • Ketamine
  • LSD
  • Phencyclidine

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