Voltammetric assay of heroin in illicit dosage forms
The oxidation of heroin on a carbon paste electrode has been studied by using voltammetric techniques under both semi-infinite linear diffusion and hydrodynamic conditions. By employing a simple and rapid in situ pre-treatment of the electrode, excellent reproducibility of the current signal was obtained. Subsequently, the current was measured and the concentration of total heroin present could be determined. The method compared favourably with instrumental methods that are more commonly used for the quantification of heroin in clinical laboratories such as chromatographic, spectrophotometric or radiometric techniques. Moreover, the proposed method showed good selectivity and was superior with respect to cost and time of analysis, permitting the determination of heroin in seized drug samples over a wide concentration range.