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Prevalence of Psychoactive Substance in Truck Drivers in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais Region (France)

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 174 Issue: 2-3 Dated: January 2008 Pages: 90-94
Laurence Labat; Bernard Fontaine; Chantal Delzenne; Anne Doublet; Marie C. Marek; Dominique Tellier; Murielle Tonneau; Michel Lhermitte; Paul Frimat
Date Published
January 2008
5 pages
In 2003-2004 in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region (France), 1,000 truck drivers were urine-tested for ethanol, amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, opiates, benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, and methadone by immunoassay.
Out of the 1,000 drivers, cannabinoids were detected in 85 drivers, opiates in 41 drivers, amphetamines in 3 drivers, and cocaine in only 1 driver. Buprenorphine was detected in 18 truckers, methadone in 5 truckers, and benzodiazepines in 4 truckers. Urine ethanol was positive in 50 cases. There was only one case with 6-monoacetylmorphine. Other positive opiates were metabolites of antitussives. The relatively low number of benzodiazepine positive cases could be explained by the lack of sensitivity of the test used. These results confirm a previous study for cannabinoids and ethanol in safe/security workstations (Haguenoer et al.). Urine specimens were collected from truckers in their annual medical examinations at four locations in the region. This report describes the collection and storage of urine samples, along with the screened compounds and methods for their analysis. Urine ethanol determinations were performed with a Dade Behring enzymatic technique. Urine samples that were positive for drugs were then tested by gas chromatography or liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. 4 figures, 2 tables, and 15 references