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Forensic Toxicology

forensic-toxicologyWHAT IS FORENSIC TOXICOLOGY?

The National Institute Of Justice Goals:

  • Improve tools and technologies to better identify, collect, preserve and analyze biological samples to show the presence of drugs and other substances in a person.
  • Develop faster and more efficient analytical methods for toxicological samples.
  • Develop analytical methods for detecting emerging drugs in toxicological samples.
  • Improve the interpretation of toxicology data to aid in understanding the relationship between drug concentration and its effect on the human body.
  • Improve the understanding of the how drugs are redistributed throughout the body.

Forensic toxicology is the analysis of biological samples (in most cases, urine or blood), to determine if there are any street drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol and poisons or drugs taken in large amounts for a suicide attempt overdose. The initial report from the Forensic Toxicologist details which drugs are present, if any, and which drugs are not.

It is a common misconception that Forensic Toxicology can help you determine if the individual took a “THERAPEUTIC DOSE”. This is absolutely incorrect. No blood level of any drug, nor urine level of any drug can be used to predict the effect the drugs and the quantities consume. This is one of the basic tenets of pharmacology and is discussed in all Pharmacology Textbooks used any where in the united states.

Forensic toxicology has to keep making advances to keep up with the new drugs being developed, some of which will require another assay to determine.

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