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A Modern Compendium of Microcrystal Tests for Illicit Drugs and Diverted Pharmaceuticals, Compendium

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2015
155 pages
Intended for use by forensic scientists in the crime laboratory and researchers in the analytical chemistry laboratory, this compendium contains information on 19 illicit or diverted pharmaceutical drugs for which microcrystal tests, using various reagents, have been previously developed.

Detailed descriptions are provided for the microcrystals formed from each test. Included are photomicrographs, morphology illustrations, optical properties, notes, and infrared (IR) spectra of the microcystals. The 19 drugs selected for inclusion in the compendium were selected from annual reports compiled by the National Forensic Laboratory Information System (NFLIS). The reports issued by NFLIS describe the controlled substances that are identified by Federal, State, and local forensic laboratories across the United States. These reports also include the national estimates for the 25 most frequently reported drugs, along with observed trends. Information about known microcrystal tests and reference material from numerous sources spanning past decades were located and evaluated. A survey of crime laboratories was conducted to determine which reagents and microcrystal tests are currently used. Because the literature contains numerous microcrystal tests that could be used to identify a single compound, the compendium contains only the most commonly used protocols. Including the most commonly used microcrystal tests used by many forensic laboratories makes it easier for individual laboratories to amend their current procedures. It also ensures that the reagents used in the test are accessible. 15 references

Date Published: April 1, 2015