Advisory Committee Chair
Advisory Committee Members
Date of Award
Degree Name by School
Master of Science (MS) College of Arts and Sciences
This project was done in collaboration with the Jefferson County Drug Court system. The Drug Court program is available in Jefferson County to youth and adults to help first time offenders with felony drug offenses. Individuals can have their cases dismissed once they complete the rehabilitation program. There are three phases to the Drug Court program with random drug screens conducted through a color-coded selection system. The phases are correlated to completing screens weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. The program is completed once the individual has a clean drug test for 90 days. The overall objectives of this research project were to (1) develop a gas chromatographic mass spectroscopic method to provide confirmation of Jefferson County Drug Court results and (2) identify drugs of abuse not detected by the Drug Court presumptive testing. The method used to identify drugs in in this project was solid-phase extraction (SPE), with commercially available DPX pipette tips loosely packed with solid-phase sorbent contained by two solvent permeable frits. The DPX tips are generally used for high volume robotic systems. In this project, they are used manually. The benefit of using the DPX tips is that one extraction method can be designed for acidic, basic, and neutral drugs. The method will also use small volumes of solvents, minimizing both cost of the analysis and disposal of toxic solvents. iii The Jefferson County Drug Court screens urine samples for amphetamine, barbiturates, benzodiazepines, marijuana (THC), cocaine, opiates, methadone, buprenorphine, and heroin (H6AM). As part of the method development, 33 Drug Court samples were analyzed, including 16 samples that were negative for drugs of abuse according to the screening test performed by the Drug Court. The remaining 17 samples were positive for opiates, benzodiazepines, amphetamines, cannabinoids, cocaine, and/or fentanyl, according to the presumptive testing completed by drug court, and confirmed using the methods developed in this project. In addition to the drugs identified by the Drug Court panel, xylazine, escitalopram, and bupropion were also identified.
Steen, Kourtney Michelle, "Method Development of Drug Court Samples" (2022). All ETDs from UAB. 570.