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February 13, 1991

Cocaine Metabolite Detection in Homicide Victims

JAMA. 1991;265(6):760-761. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460060092031

We analyzed the blood of homicide victims for the presence of cocaine's major metabolite, benzoylecgonine. During 1989 in Fulton County, Georgia, 81% of 275 homicide victims were tested for benzoylecgonine; 40% tested positive. The proportions of blacks and victims of firearm injuries who tested positive for benzoylecgonine were significantly larger than the respective proportions for whites and victims of injuries not involving firearms. The data show overall proportions of benzoylecgonine positivity much larger than those previously reported in the literature. The relationships between homicide, race, firearms, and cocaine use deserve further study.

(JAMA. 1991;265:760-761)