Forensic Science: Drug Identification and Toxicology

Controlled Substance
a drug or other chemical compound whose manufacture, distribution, posession, and use is regulated by the legal system

Drug
a chemical substance that affects the processes of the mind or body; a substance used in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of a disease; a substance used recreationally for its effects on the mind or body, such as a narcotic or hallucinogen

Narcotic
an addictive drug, such as opium, that relieves pain, alters mood and behaviorm and causes sleep or feelings of mental numbness

Poison
A naturally occurring or manufactured substance that can cause severe harm or death if ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin

Toxicity
the degree to which a substance is poisonous or can cause injury

Toxin
A poisonous substance naturally produced by certain plants, animals, and bacteria that is capable of causing disease or death in humans; a subgroup of poisons

Toxicology
is the study of poisons and the identification of drugs and other subtances a person may have use for medicinal, recreational, or criminal purposes.

Toxicity depends on three things
the dose, the duration, and the nature of the exposure

other factors would be: whether the drug or toxin interacts with other substances in the body such as alcohol or prescription drugs

Dose
how much of it is taken in or absorbed

Duration
the frequency an length of the exposure

Nature of the Exposure
whether it was ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin

Forensic Toxicology
helps determine the cause-and-effect relationships between exposure to a drug or other substances an the toxic or lethal effects from that exposure.

How to examine drugs in the body
analyze body fluids, stomach contents, skin, hair, or in the case of lethal exposures, internal organs, such as the liver, and from the vitreous humor fluid of the eye

Toxic Substances are classified how?
Intentionally — to treat an illness or relieve pain

Accidentally — Ingested or exposed, as in unintentional overdose or harmful combinations

Deliberately — As in suicide or exposures intended to harm or kill others

Socrates
one of the earliest reporte victims of poisoning

When did Toxicology become a profession?
17th Century

Arsenic
Inheritance Powder

Mathieu Orfila and Robert Christison
First forensic toxicologists to popularize these new methods

Homicides
.5 to 1 percent of all homicides result from poisoning

Acute Poisoning
caused by a high dose over a short period of time

Chronic Poisoning
caused by lower doses over a long period of time

Controlle Substances
are defined as legal drugs whose sale; possession, and use are restricte because of the effect of the drugs an the potential for abuse.

What are the controlled substances
(1) hallucinogens (2) narcotics (3) stimulants (4) anabolic steroids (5) depressants

Hallucinogens
derived from plants and affect the user’s perceptions, thinking, self-awareness, and emotions

Narcotic
act to reduce pain by supression the central nervous system’s ability to relay pain messages to the brain

Stimulants
they increase feelings of energy an alertness while suppressing appetite

Anabolic Steriods
promote cell and tissue growth and division

Depressants
relieve anxiety and produce sleep

Organic Toxins
are poisonous substances produce by living organisms.

Botulism
the most poisonous biological substance known to humans

Clostridium Botulinum
paralyzes muscles by blocking the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine

Clostridium Tentani
is the bacteria that produce tetanus

heavy metals and pesticides
common poisons found in humans

Drug Identicfication
Could be a cause of death
contributer to death

Drug abuse violations
Drug abuse violations consistent
rise since 1990’s

Drug violations tops the list of 7
leading arrest offenses

More than half of federal inmates are
drug violations

Schedule 1
high abuse and addiction potential
no accepted medical safety or benefit of use
heroin, LSD opiates and marijuana

Schedule 2
high abuse and addiction potential
accepted medical treatment uses
morphine, PCP, cocaine, methadone an methamphetamines

Schedule 3
less abuse potential than 1 or 2 lvl drugs
accepted medical treatment uses
small to moderate chance of physical or psychological dependence
anabolic steroids, tylenol with codeine

Schedule 4
lower abuse potential
accepte medical treatment uses
limited possibilities physical dependence
Darvon, Valium, Xanax

Schedule 5
lowest abuse potential
accepte medical uses
very limited chance of dependence
over the counter cough medicines with codeine

Marquis
opium alkaloids

Cobalt thiocyanate
Cocaine

P-DMAB
LSD

Duquenois
Marijuana

Cobalt acetate/isopropylamine
Barbituates

Marquis Test detects
Heroin, Morphine and Codeine — turns purple…Amphetamines — turns red-brown

Cobalt Thicyanate
Cocaine

P-DMAB
Turns blue if LSD is present

Confirmatory Test
Gas chromatography/Mass spectrometry

GC MS process
Helium Gas — compound in a solution — heated and vaporizes — seperates — electric current — detector

Advantages over urinanalysis
Longer dectection Period
Cannot be tampered with
Non-intrusive collection
Hair from any part of the boy can be used

Disadvantages over urinanalysis
External contamination

Why use drug tests
Suspected death
DUI — determine blood alcohol content
Athletic Performance Enhancement
Drug screening

Collection
Blood — Postmortem

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