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Journal Article


Wing Leung K, Wong ZCF, Ho JYM, Yip AWS, Cheung JKH, Ho KKL, Duan R, Tsim KWK. Drug Test. Anal. 2018; 10(6): 977-983.


Division of Life Science and Center for Chinese Medicine, Division of Life Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong, China.


(Copyright © 2018, John Wiley and Sons)






The aim of this study is to reveal the habits of drug abusers in hair samples from drug rehabilitation units in Hong Kong. With the application of LC-MS/MS technology, a total of 1,771 hair samples were analyzed during the period (Jan 2012 to Mar 2016) of hair testing service provided to fourteen drug rehabilitation units including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), rehabilitation centers and medical clinics. Hair samples were analyzed for abused drugs and their metabolites simultaneously, including ketamine, norketamine, cocaine, benzoylecgonine, cocaethylene, norcocaine, codeine, MDMA, MDA, MDEA, amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, 6-acetylmorphine, phencyclidine and methadone. The results showed that ketamine (77.2%), cocaine (21.3%) and methamphetamine (16.5%) were the frequently detected drugs among those drug abusers, which are consistent with the reported data. In addition, the usage of multiple drugs was also observed in the hair samples. About 29% of drug positive samples were detected with multiple drug use. Our studies prove that our locally developed hair drug testing method and service can be a valid tool to monitor the use of abused drugs, and which could facilitate the rehabilitation program management.

This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Language: en


Hong Kong; LC-MS; drug test; hair; ketamine; multiple drug abuse


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