Date of Award

Winter 12-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forensic Science



First Advisor or Mentor

Richard Stripp

Second Reader

Damon Borg

Third Advisor

Jennifer Walsh


Oral fluid is a useful biological matrix. Collection is non-invasive, quick, observable, and its correlation between oral fluid and blood drug concentration make oral fluid an important matrix to use as a roadside test. Designer benzodiazepines have become increasingly popular over the years, adversely affecting motor skills and leading to driving under the influence. Many previous studies have focused on the method development and validation of designer benzodiazepines in blood and hair but fail to validate a method to detect designer benzodiazepines in oral fluid. This study focuses on the method validation of 13 designer benzodiazepines in oral fluid using solid phase extraction and liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry using multiple reaction monitoring for detection. Once all 13 designer benzodiazepines were validated using the standard validation set by the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology, authentic oral fluid patient samples were analyzed to determine the frequency of designer benzodiazepines. Seventy-eight authentic oral fluid patient samples from treatment clinics were analyzed using the validated method. Two of the 78 samples were positive for designer benzodiazepines, both being positive for meclonazepam.

Included in

Toxicology Commons



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