2019 National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum

2019 National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum


Strengthening Forensic Response and Informing Public Safety and Health



The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) assisted the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in hosting the National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum on July 18-19, 2019 in Washington, D.C. The forum took place at the Marriott Metro Center.

This NIJ Policy and Practice Forum built off the momentum of the widespread stakeholder meetings convened to discuss the consequences of this national epidemic, including the impact it has had on public safety, public health, and the criminal justice response. The forum disseminated topics at a policy level that have been discussed in more focused and often closed forums, while still paying particular attention to addressing best practices for forensic laboratories.

The forum promoted cooperative initiatives to leverage available funding as efficiently as possible; identified and promoted scientific research, best practices and lessons learned for forensic science organizations and practitioners; assessed strategies to improve surveillance methodologies to encourage use and collaboration of existing programs such as the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Program, National Forensic Laboratory Information System, Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and Centers for Disease Control Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program; and identified strategies for workforce development, casework efficiency, and issues related to increased caseloads in forensic science organizations.

Target Audience: policymakers, governmental programs, state and local law enforcement officials, forensic laboratories, medical examiners and coroners (ME/C), and addiction specialists.

View the Program

View the Proceedings


The archival version of the event has been broken down into separate panels. You must watch the full video in order to obtain ABMDI credits, up to 10 hours and 50 minutes are available. 


Attended July 18th and 19th, 2019?
Audience members who attended the event virtually or in person on July 18th and 19th can access the closed course with presentations and certificates below. If you applied for ABMDI credits during the event, you can collect the certificate here as well.




Day 1

Opening Remarks and Overview of NIJ Portfolio for Opioids Research and Support Programs
► Panel Discussion 1- Caseloads and Operational Solutions
► Panel Discussion 2- Drug Surveillance Challenges and Analytical Response
► Panel Discussion 3- Workforce Shortages and Innovative Solutions
► Panel Discussion 4- Forensic Workforce Safety and Resiliency
► Closing Remarks

Day 2

► OPENING KEYNOTE- Community Impact
► Panel Discussion 5- Policy and Practice
► Panel Discussion 6- Research to Integrate Public Safety and Health Data for Forensic Response
► Panel Discussion 7- Surveillance Systems to Inform Response
► Panel Discussion 8- The Road to Policy and Practice
► Closing Remarks


Dr. Jonathan Arden

2019 President
National Association of Medical Examiners

Mr. Michael Gottlieb

Deputy Chief of Staff
White House Office of National Drug Control Policy

CDR Jennifer Hornsby-Myers

Senior Industrial Hygienist
NIOSH Emergency Preparedness and Response Office (EPRO)

Ms. Amanda Liskamm

U.S. Department of Justice

Mr. Jeffrey Locke

Program Director
National Governors Association

Mr. Stephen McConachie

Chief Operations Manager
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Dr. David Muhlhausen

National Institute of Justice

Ms. DeMia Pressley

Program Officer
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration

Lieutenant Colonel David A. Sartori

Division of Forensic Toxicology, AFMES

Dr. Puja Seth

Overdose Epidemiology and Surveillance Lead
Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention (DUIP)
at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


The FTCOE partners with fellow researchers and practitioners to develop resources to help transition technology into practice, bridging the gap between the scientific and the justice communities. Click here for several resources specific to toxicology, available for download on the FTCOE website.


Webinar Series

Building on the momentum of the National Opioid and Emerging Drug Threats Policy and Practice Forum held earlier this year in Washington, D.C., the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCOE) assisted the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in a complementary initiative surrounding the topic by hosting a webinar series titled Opioids & Emerging Drug Threats – Integrating Public Safety and Health Data for a Forensic Response. The webinar series allowed for a more in-depth discussion of some topics presented during the forum. Additionally, new topics were covered, such as: the impact of drug background levels on forensic labs, improving capability and capacity to measure human exposure to synthetic opioids, the role of ODMAP and other programs to mobilize response, and many more.

Learn more

ABMDI Credits

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence is proud to offer ABMDI Continuing Education Credits for this series.

ABMDI credits will be calculated by total time spent watching. For the best viewing experience, each individual session is designed to be watched in its entirety in one sitting.

Each session results in a certificate of completion and can only be completed one time for credit. After you have completed a session and acquired your certificate, please contact with your certificate to apply for the ABMDI credits. If you experience any difficult accessing your certificates, please contact

We are unable to administer CE credit to users watching in groups. In order to receive your CE credits, you must be logged in to our learning ecosystem under your own name. If you are not logged in under your own name, you will not receive CE credits.

Learn more about ABMDI credits here. To check out what other Continuing Education opportunities are available with the FTCOE, click HERE!

The views and opinions of the presenters are not those of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.