Natural And Synthetic Drugs

Natural and synthetic drugs

R.C.M.P.

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Drugs and poisons are detected and quantified in a wide variety of cases, but most frequently sudden death, impaired driving and assault. Interpretations are made on the pharmacological effects of drugs and poisons found and, on request, may be made on given hypothetical situations where no analysis of body fluids or tissues has been made. On occasion, "over-the-counter" pharmaceuticals and prepared food products are examined for evidence of tampering.
Drugs and poisons are detected and quantified in a wide variety of cases, but most frequently sudden death, impaired driving and assault. Interpretations are made on the pharmacological effects of drugs and poisons found and, on request, may be made on given hypothetical situations where no analysis of body fluids or tissues has been made. On occasion, "over-the-counter" pharmaceuticals and prepared food products are examined for evidence of tampering.

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Services provided by the Toxicology Section of a forensic science laboratory include:

analyzing biological fluids and tissues for the presence of drugs and poisons and quantifying any substances found; interpreting the pharmacological effects of a drug or a combination of drugs on an individual at various concentrations; e.g. whether sub-therapeutic, therapeutic, toxic or lethal; analyzing known substances, pharmaceuticals or food in cases where tampering is suspected.
A toxicologist analyzes bodily fluids and tissues and quantifies drugs and poisons within those samples, and also interprets the effects of these chemicals on the body. The types of cases that a toxicologist may become involved in are homicide, sexual assault, impaired driving (by drugs), sudden unexplained death, drug overdose, fatal vehicle accident, suspicious powders, food tampering, and animal poisoning. The most common testing is for drugs. Legal drugs may be prescription or "over the counter drugs" (e.g. aspirin). Illegal drugs are divided into seven groups and are identified by how they act on the body. These drugs are Cen Read More
Services provided by the Toxicology Section of a forensic science laboratory include:

  • analyzing biological fluids and tissues for the presence of drugs and poisons and quantifying any substances found;
  • interpreting the pharmacological effects of a drug or a combination of drugs on an individual at various concentrations; e.g. whether sub-therapeutic, therapeutic, toxic or lethal;
  • analyzing known substances, pharmaceuticals or food in cases where tampering is suspected.

A toxicologist analyzes bodily fluids and tissues and quantifies drugs and poisons within those samples, and also interprets the effects of these chemicals on the body. The types of cases that a toxicologist may become involved in are homicide, sexual assault, impaired driving (by drugs), sudden unexplained death, drug overdose, fatal vehicle accident, suspicious powders, food tampering, and animal poisoning. The most common testing is for drugs. Legal drugs may be prescription or "over the counter drugs" (e.g. aspirin). Illegal drugs are divided into seven groups and are identified by how they act on the body. These drugs are Central Nervous System Depressants, Inhalants, Phencyclidine, Cannabis, CNS Stimulants, Hallucinogens and Narcotic Analgesics.

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Testing methods include Spectroscopy (visible, ultraviolet, fluorometry, atomic absorption and infrared), Chromatography (thin layer, gas liquid or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry), and Immunoassays. Within toxicology, the scientist must identify what the specimen (verify that it is blood) is, then determine what other chemicals are present, extract them (separation), ensure they are what they appear to be (qualitative analysis) and determine their concentration (quantification).
Testing methods include Spectroscopy (visible, ultraviolet, fluorometry, atomic absorption and infrared), Chromatography (thin layer, gas liquid or gas chromatography/mass spectrometry), and Immunoassays. Within toxicology, the scientist must identify what the specimen (verify that it is blood) is, then determine what other chemicals are present, extract them (separation), ensure they are what they appear to be (qualitative analysis) and determine their concentration (quantification).

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Toxicology Steps

Toxicology steps

R.C.M.P.

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Learning Objectives

The learner will:
  • Develop enthusiasm and continuing interest in the study of science
  • Describe how the field of chemistry relates to forensic science
  • Describe examples of the application of chemistry in society

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