This course introduces students to methods of determining
the presence or absence of drugs (and metabolites) and chemicals in human
fluids and tissues and evaluating their role as a contributory factor in the
cause or manner of death and disease.
This course deals with the systematic approach to processing biological
samples for the presence of drugs and poisons.
Students are introduced to the fundamental theoretical principles
applied to forensic toxicology with topics including: postmortem and antemortem toxicology, sample
preparation and extraction techniques, and methods of analytical screening and
confirmation (chromatography, GCMS, LCMS, immunoassay), that are used to solve
problems confronting the forensic toxicologist.
Advanced topics associated with pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
are discussed as they relate to the interpretation of results. The general focus of the course will be to
examine the scientific aspects of the detection of intoxications and the role of
intoxicating agents in the commission of crimes and/or overdose and poisoning.
The laboratory sessions introduce the basic analytical
principles that are common in forensic toxicology. This includes the various methods of sample
preparation, extraction, and drug screening, determination of blood ethanol
levels and qualitative and quantitative analysis of specimens for various drugs
of abuse. Common acidic, basic, and
neutral drug screening methods will be applied along with the concepts of