Toxicity study of confiscated illicit opium and heroin on liver
Farid A Badria, Mona El-Neketi, Hassan-Elrady A Saad
The impact effect of common narcotic drugs (Heroin & Opium), in comparison with experimentally proven hepatotoxic agents (carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), on liver of mice was assessed. Histopathological investigations of the liver sections of revealed abnormalities of the liver tissues (extensive infiltration of hepatocytes and inflammation of portal tract, dilated blood sinusoids with connective tissue proliferation in the portal areas, wide areas of hepatocellular necrosis, and periportal fibrotic formation with thick septa) indicating liver hepatotoxicity. Illegally sold opium samples is usually adulterated and contaminated with high level of arsenic and lead that may be associated with liver diseases, so the level of arsenic and lead in illicit opium and heroin samples was determined using atomic absorption method. This is an attempt to define the incidence and severity of liver disorders among a large number of drug addicts. The concentration of arsenic and lead were found to be high in illicit opium and heroin samples. In conclusion: The hepatotoxicity caused by the administration of the common narcotic drugs (illicit opium and heroin samples) may be partially due to excessive cumulative doses of illicit narcotic drugs, and/or the presence of heavy metals (arsenic and lead).