Date of Award

Summer 8-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science



First Advisor or Mentor

Marta Concheiro-Guisan

Second Reader

Gail Cooper

Third Advisor

Karen Scott


Methamphetamine (N-methylamphetamine) is a central nervous system stimulant (CNS) and sympathomimetic drug with a high addiction potential. In the United States, there has been a significant increase in the presence of methamphetamine in recent years, specifically in the Northeastern region of the country. The New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (NYC-OCME) postmortem methamphetamine casework from 2018 and 2019 was analyzed and revealed that the presence of the drug increased drastically within a span of one year, jumping from 65 cases in 2018 to 99 cases in 2019. Males were overwhelmingly responsible for much of the casework, taking up 141 (85.9%) of the cases across both years. The average age of an individual in this study was 41.73 years, with a standard deviation of 12.74 years. The average methamphetamine and amphetamine concentrations in all 164 cases was 1.23 mg/L and 0.17 mg/L, respectively. The mean concentration ratio between the drugs from metabolite to parent was 0.14. Polysubstance use among methamphetamine users is quite common and was apparent in the data which showed that out of all 164 cases, 129 users had used other drugs in combination with methamphetamine (78.7%). The four most common drugs seen in combination with methamphetamine across both years were ethanol, fentanyl, cocaine, and morphine being 41 (25%), 36 (22%), 35 (21%), and 28 (17%), respectively. Postmortem methamphetamine casework from the NYC-OCME can be explored and eventually built upon in future studies to further deduce other patterns and trends correlating to methamphetamine use.


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