Component Analysis of Iranian Crack ; A Newly Abused Narcotic Substance in Iran

Document Type: Research article

Authors

1 Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Iranian Research Center for Substance Abuse and Dependence, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Science, Tehran, Iran

2 IRSA Center for Psychology and Addiction Study, Tehran, Iran

3 Iranian Research Center for Substance Abuse and Dependence, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Science, Tehran, Iran

4 Bahar Laboratory of toxicology, Tehran, Iran

5 Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Iranian crack is a new form of narcotic substance that has found widespread prevalence in
Iran in the past years. crack only nominally resembles crack cocaine as it is widely different in
its clinical signs. Thus the present study aims to quantify the chemical combination of this drug.
The samples included 18 specimen of crack collected from different zones of Tehran, Iran.
All specimens were in the form of inodorous cream solid powdery substance. TLC and HPLC
methods were used to perform semi-quantitative and quantitative analysis of the components,
respectively.
The TLC analysis showed no cocaine compound in the specimens while they all revealed to
contain heroin, codeine, morphine and caffeine. All but two specimens contained thebaine. None
of the specimens contained amphetamine, benzodiazepines, tricyclic antidepressants, aspirin,
barbiturates, tramadol and buprenorphine. Acetaminophen was found in four specimens. HPLC
revealed heroin to be the foundation substance in all specimens and most of them contained
a significant amount of acetylcodeine. The present analysis of the chemical combination of
crack showed that this substance is a heroin-based narcotic which is basically different from
the cocaine-based crack used in Western countries. Studies like the present one at different
time points, especially when abnormal clinical signs are detected, can reveal the chemical
combination of the target substance and contribute to the clinical management of its acute or
chronic poisoning.

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