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A Journal on Forensic Medicine
Minerva Medicolegale 1999 June;119(2): 67-76
A Scanning Electron Microscopy Study on street drugs addicts
Pierini G., Cassini R., Camerino A., Tayari M., Montemitro A.
Background. A Scanning Electron Microscopy Study on street drugs offers some useful images on the real content of illicit preparations for intravenous use. The cellular content underlines the botanical species lied to opiate treatment, and may be useful for species identification, according to Stahl's method. The immunogenetic role of the intravenous residue injected by addicts is not until now clear, but our observations lead to evaluate the role of the forensic laboratory as guide-lines in narcotics criminality assessments.
Methods. The research was carried out on samples of drugs for which expertise from the legal Authority was requested.
Results. After the evaluation on drugs content, the residue was inspected by electron microscopy. Many samples offer the possibility of correct botanical identification of the biotraces present in illicit preparations, based on number of sthoma, crystals shape, vessels morphology.
Conclusions. Our research points out the interest in practicing electron scanning microscopy associated with toxicological chemical methods.