a) A 50-year old man employed at company X was given an on-site urine test (using a commercial test strip). He tested positive for amphetamines. Upon questioning, he said that he never took amphetamines, but that he was treating bad head cold symptoms by taking an antihistamine (Actifed Cold and Allergy Tablets) and using a Vick's inhaler. Can these over-the- counter drugs give a false positive result? How would you determine the identity of the compound(s) giving the positive result? Be specific.
b) If company X used the initial on-site test results to fire the man mentioned in question 1, would he have grounds to sue for wrongful termination.
c) The police collected a white powder from a suspected drug dealer and sent it to your laboratory for testing. You, a forensic toxicologist at the laboratory, were called to testify that this substance was identified as cocaine. Briefly (in several paragraphs) address each of the following questions:
- What sort of evidence would you present if the defense attorney suggested that the sample you analyzed was not the sample seized by the police
- Suppose the sample was analyzed by GCMS. What sort of information would you give the jury about the analytical method? How would you demonstrate that you did not have a false positive result
- What, if anything, would you change in the analytical method if you were examining the defendant's urine rather than the powder for cocaine.
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The on-spot drug testing for the amphetamines are quite common in spite they give false positive test.
This basically caused by the cross-reactivity of amphetamines with immunoassays with sympathomimetic amines with has structure similar to amphetamines Nasal decongestants like Vicks contains propanolamine ,psedoephedrine and 1-methylphetamine is the most commonest false positive for the amphetamines. Now amphetamines has most positive drug test cases and significant amount of amphetamines are present is urine excretion so most cases amphetmaines are detected using GSMS of the urine sample since d- amphetamines are the narcotics not the l isomer along with the Chiral based GCMS needs to done certain positive test for the amphetamine. So the on spot testing of amphetamines will always go wrong if the subjected person is used Vicks nasal inhaler....
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