Kelli Sladdick, Forensic Science and Biochemistry
“Examination of cocaine base/cocaine hydrochloride mixtures”
Federal and most state drug laws provide for significant differences in length of sentences for sale or possession on “Crack” (cocaine base) and cocaine (cocaine hydrochloride). Because the most widely used methods of analyzing drugs, gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy is not useful for differentiating the two forms of cocaine, other techniques must be used to determine if a sample contains cocaine base, cocaine hydrochloride or a mixture of the two. This project proposes to use pure cocaine base and hydrochlodride to make mixtures of cocaine base and cocaine hydrochloride varying in percentage from only trace to about 50:50. These mixtures will be examined by both solvent extraction and Infrared spectroscopy to determine how effective each technique is at detecting relatively small amounts of each form in the other.