When Corpses Meet Forensic Pathologists – Infobox 1

When Corpses Meet Forensic Pathologists – Infobox 1

Author: Nadine TheofelORCID iD, Sonja Roscher, Stefan Scholtis, Michael TsokosORCID iD

Chemical structures and a short description of the drugs and medications most commonly detected at the State Institute of Forensic and Social Medicine in 2016


1 Heroin

Monoacetylmorphine (6-MAM) is the primary metabolite of heroine (diacetylmorphine, pictured). Detection of monoacetylmorphine in femoral artery blood and urine proves that a dose of heroin was consumed several hours prior to death.

2 Cannabis

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive substance found in the cannabis plant. It elicits feelings like calmness, happiness, and fear, among others.

3 Speed

Amphetamine is a stimulant.

4 Cocaine

Cocaine is a stimulant and is consumed as an intoxicant. The substance induces feelings that include euphoria, increased motivation, aggressiveness, and reduced hunger.

5 Ecstasy

MDMA (methylenedioxymetamphetamine) is a derivative of amphetamine, has a stimulating effect, and induces euphoria.


1 Ibuprofen

Ibuprofen is used as an analgesic and, at higher doses, as an antirheumatic.

2 Metamizole

Metamizole is an analgesic and spasmolytic. It is primarily prescribed for severe pain and colic.

3 Diazepam

Diazepam is in the benzodiazepine family and is used for cases of acute anxiety and stress, before operations, and, in rare cases, as a sleeping pill.

4 Metoprolol

Metoprolol is in the beta blocker family and is prescribed to treat high blood pressure or coronary heart disease.

5 Lidocaine

Lidocaine is used as a local anesthetic and antiarrhythmic. Lidocaine is also often used in resuscitation procedures.


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