Thursday, March 31, 2016

Currrent Mood


Fentanyl analogs and opioid research chemicals...

It seems as if they are everywhere folks.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Thoughts on Meldonium and Sharapova

As you've probably seen by now, professional tennis player Maria Sharapova had a positive urine test for Meldonium/Mildronate - a Russian substance used to treat angina and myocardial infarction.

I won't rehash what Meldonium/Mildronate is, how it seems to work in the body, or why it was added to the WADA banned list as this has been done several times very well over the past couple of days.

Maria Sharapova and Meldonium: What ban can the tennis star expect? - Five things to know about meldonium, the drug Maria Sharapova has used for 10 years - Banned drug Sharapova took was first patented as an animal growth promoter - Meldonium isn't FDA approved. How could a US doctor have prescribed it to Sharapova? - Maria Sharapova's meldonium doping scandal explained - Kremlin hits back in Maria Sharapova scandal

Sharapova claims she has taken the substance for about the last ten years for medical issues. And I don't care. The substance wasn't explicitly banned by WADA until January 2016. Consumption of the substance was not against the rules. Any substance not banned is fair game for use.

After the January 2016 ban? Sure. She's a knuckleheaded cheater who was found with a banned substance in her urine. No sympathy from me on that one. None at all. She claims neither she nor any of her teammates looked at the newly updated banned substance list. There are reports that she was actually warned five separate times that the substance was to be banned in the upcoming year. Five times! Another knucklehead move. She could have filed for a therapeutic use exemption, but she did not. Sharapova has no one to blame but herself (for using the substance AND getting caught with it in her system after the banned date).

On the other hand, I've said this before - maybe we should allow doping in all professional sports? It is entertainment, right? Push the human body as far as it can go, and if performance enhancing substances expand a person's abilities, then maybe we should. Maybe? Someone recently said, if we were to allow this to occur, then wouldn't all sports become a "nuclear arms race"?

Professional sports already is an arms race. If you don't believe that, well, you're sadly mistaken.

Better living through chemistry as they like to say.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Case Report: GHB in a Sexual Assault

Newly published is a case report in Forensic Science International describing a truly horrible and deplorable situation in which a six year old female child was brutally sexually assaulted over the course of approximately nine months by her uncle. The child died.

It is an important case report. But, it is very difficult to read.

The paper is available behind a paywall via Science Direct here.

The uncle obtained GHB liquid over the Internet and was able to synthesize GHB salt from GBL with instructions acquired over the Internet. About nine months into the assaults, the uncle mixed GHB into some spaghetti with Bolognese sauce and later some apple juice. The child became sedated and unconscious. After about four hours and several heinous sexual assaults, the child stopped breathing. The uncle tried to resuscitate her, but was unsuccessful.

Toxicological analysis of the postmortem cardiac blood (1.5 mcg/mL), bile (2.92 mcg/mL), vitreous humor (5.8 mcg/mL), liver (100 mg/kg), kidney (125 mg/kg), and brain (110 mg/kg). Cause of death was ruled as GHB intoxication.

While we think that GHB is rarely used in drug facilitated sexual assaults (DFSA) in present day, this case is an important reminder that GHB is still utilized and should always be considered in DFSA casework and included in the scope of analysis in any toxicology analyses.


L.M. Mehling, S.S. Johansen, X. Wang, E. Doberentz, B. Madea, and C. Hess (2016) Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault with Lethal Outcome: GHB Intoxication in a Six-Year-Old Girl. Forensic Science International, Volume 259, e25-e31.