Precursor discrimination of designer drug benzylpiperazine using δ13C and δ15N stable isotopes
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Advances in analytical technology and emerging techniques have resulted in the increased exploitation of chemical and isotopic profiling for source linkage/discrimination of illicit drugs for forensic purposes. Although not routinely used for illicit drug investigations, such information has been obtained and its application demonstrated through the use of isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS). There is a solid platform of research available relating to the isotopic analysis of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and methamphetamine (MA), however with the recently flourishing designer drug market it was of interest to examine the isotopic profiles of the popular 'party drug' benzylpiperazine hydrochloride (BZP-HCI). A preliminary analysis of d13C and d15N isotopic ratios in BZP-HCI products and corresponding synthetic intermediates (piperazine-HCI) synthesized in-house from three different precursor suppliers was conducted using IRMS. Analysis of the d13C and d15N isotopic data indicated that discrimination and correct grouping of all the intermediates and some of the product samples examined in this study were achievable.
Science and Justice