Toxicology

All of our webinars, reports, podcast episodes, and other educational resources are available to the public at no cost.

Funding for the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.

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2022 National Forensic Science Week FTCoE Student Research Poster Session

← Back to Main Page Overview Thursday, September 22, 2022 | Posters will be available at 1:00 PM Eastern Welcome to our virtual poster session! As fall semester begins and in honor of National Forensic Science Week (September 18-24, 2022),…
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2022 National Forensic Science Week Ask an Expert

← Back to Main Page Overview The FTCoE has conducted a variety of written interviews with forensic professionals in various forensic science disciplines. From digital evidence to trace analysis and medicolegal death investigation to DNA analysis, the FTCoE showcases real-world…

Medicolegal Death Investigation Partnerships on Overdose Fatality Reviews

Date July 2022 Overview The main purpose of Overdose Fatality Reviews (OFRs) is to review overdose fatalities and find gaps in services to help save lives. They rely on a multi-agency approach to information sharing to accomplish this goal. Upon…

Project ECHO: Applications for the Medicolegal Death Investigation Community and Other Forensic Disciplines

Date October 2022 Overview Similar to the foundational ECHO model designed for primary care providers, ECHO: Overdose Fatality Investigation Techniques (OD-FIT) is designed to promote the rapid dissemination of medicolegal death investigation-specific knowledge for immediate application to overdose casework.1 The ECHO…
drugs & woman

Reports of Adverse Events Associated with Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances, 2017–2020: A Review

Publication Journal of Analytical Toxicology, April 2022 Authors Amanda L A Mohr | Center for Forensic Science Research and Education Barry K Logan | Center for Forensic Science Research and EducationMelissa F Fogarty | Center for Forensic Science Research and…

Medical Examiner and Coroner Outsourcing Study – A Qualitative Study and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Date January 2022 Overview Medical examiners and coroners (MECs) are often at the center of highly stressful and emotional situations as a part of their daily job duties. Those events are compounded by continued and escalating high caseloads and inadequate…
test tube & molecules

Use of Rapid Toxicology Screening Tools in Medical Examiner/Coroner Offices

Date November 2021 Summary All medical examiner/coroner (ME/C) offices must make difficult decisions when allocating resources for timely, complete medicolegal death investigations. In some cases, toxicological analysis of a decedent’s biological specimens (e.g., blood, urine, tissue) can help determine cause…
US and forensic science disciplines

2021 Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders Public Meeting

Overview The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), held a Forensic Science Research Federal Stakeholders meeting on November 8, 2021 from 9:00AM…
certificate of death and drugs

Death Certification by the Medical Examiner/Coroner in Drug-Related Deaths

← Back to MDI Webinar Series This webinar originally occurred on November 30th, 2021  Duration: 1 hour Considering the steadily rising number of overdose deaths in recent years, public health systems rely on the vital role of medicolegal death investigation…

Sam Quinones | International Award-Winning Author – The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth

This webinar originally occurred on October 28, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Sam Quinones is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist and an international award-winning author of four books of narrative nonfiction. Quinones’ latest book, The Least of Us: True Tales of…
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2021 National Forensic Science Week Practitioner Interviews

← Back to Main Page Overview The FTCoE has conducted a variety of written interviews with forensic professionals in various stages of their careers. From recent graduates to retired professionals, the FTCoE showcases real-world perspectives on the current state of…

2021 National Forensic Science Week FTCoE Student Research Poster Session

← Back to Main Page Overview  As fall semesters are getting back into session and in honor of the upcoming National Forensic Science Week (September 19-25, 2021), the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) would like to highlight student research…

Criminal Justice and Public Health Response for Emerging Drug Threats

Overview In a joint effort with the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) Comprehensive Opioid, Stimulant, and Substance Abuse Program (COSSAP), FTCoE develops capabilities that meet the needs of forensic science organizations to improve collaborations across the criminal justice and public…
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Multiple Perspectives on Overdose Fatality Reviews

This webinar originally occurred on July 27th, 2021 Duration: 1 hour This webinar provided an overview of overdose fatality reviews (OFRs) with a specific focus on engaging partnerships with coroners, medical examiners, and medicolegal death investigators.  The presenters highlighted OFRs…
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Working Group on Data Exchange in Medicolegal Death Investigation

Working Group on Data Exchange in Medicolegal Death Investigation The National Institute of Justice and its Forensic Technology Center of Excellence convene the Working Group on Data Exchange in Medicolegal Death Investigation in collaboration with and supported by the Centers…
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Just a Guide to Sexual Assault Response Reform

Original Release Date: April 30, 2021 In episode three of our Sexual Assault Awareness Month mini season, Just Science sat down with Dr. Patricia Melton, co-director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative Training and Technical Assistance program, to discuss a…
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Just Polysubstance Use and the Importance of Data Trends

In episode ten, Just Science interviews Josh Yohannan, a forensic chemist and expert in emerging drug trends, about polysubstance use in the opioid overdose epidemic.  Polysubstance use dramatically increases the potential for overdose or negative side effects of drug use. While there is no “one-size-fits-all” description of…
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Just Addressing the Stigma of Substance Abuse Disorder

In episode nine, Just Science interviews Clarence Jordan, the Vice President of Wellness and Recovery at Beacon Health Options, to discuss stigma and its impact to programs designed to support those with substance use disorder and on individual level outcomes.  There is no shortage of stigma surrounding the overdose crisis facing our…
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Just the DEA National Forensic Laboratory Information System

In episode eight, Just Science interviews DeMia Pressley from the DEA’s Diversion Control Division to discuss the importance of information sharing across law enforcement and public health agencies through forensic partnerships.  The National Forensic Laboratory Information System, otherwise known as NFLIS, is a…
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Just Building Policy From The Ground Up

Original Release Date: March 5th, 2021 In episode seven, Just Science interviews Dr. Alex Kral, an infectious disease epidemiologist at RTI International, about innovative policy solutions to improve outcomes for people with substance use disorder.  Community-based research takes place within community settings and involves community members which allows…
scientist

FLN-TWG: LC-MS-Based Forensic Toxicology Screening

← Back to FLN-TWG Main Page  Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG) The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group…
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Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG)

Supporting NIJ’s Mission to Improve Knowledge and Understanding The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), in partnership with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE) at RTI International, formed the Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG). The FLN-TWG supports NIJ’s…
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Just Alternative Crisis Response: One Community’s Experience

In episode six, Just Science interviews Tim Black of the White Bird Clinic in Eugene, Oregon about the CAHOOTS program, a community-based public safety model that provides mental health first response for crises involving mental illness, homelessness, and substance use…
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Just Partnerships To Enhance Overdose Fatality Review

In episode five, Just Science interviews Dr. Mallory O’Brien, Assistant Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, to discuss how partnerships can enhance Overdose Fatality Reviews.  The National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) is the only state-based reporting system that covers all types…
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Just the Story of the Healthy Grandfamilies Project

Original Release Date: February 12th, 2021 In episode four, Just Science sat down with Bonnie Dunn, Co-Director of the West Virginia Healthy Grandfamilies Project, to discuss a free initiative that provides information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more of their grandchildren. Children…
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Just The Importance of Identifying Emerging Drug Threats

Original Release Date: February 5th, 2021 In episode three, Just Science sat down with Amanda Mohr and Dr. Alex Krotulski from the Center for Forensic Science Research and Education to discuss the analytical and interpretative challenges associated with emerging drug threats.  The Center for Forensic Science…
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Structural Characterization of Emerging Synthetic Drugs by Mass Spectrometry

This webinar originally occurred on Friday, March 5th, 2021 Duration: 1 hour The main focus of this webinar is on the use of isotope labeling, multi-stage mass spectrometry (MSn), ion spectroscopy, and accurate mass measurements with high resolution mass spectrometry…
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Just the Intersection of Opioids and Illicit Stimulants Part 2

Original Release Date: January 29, 2021 This week, we continue the conversation with Dr. Zibbell as he discusses the American history of drug epidemics, what we can learn from past stimulant crises, and the importance of tailoring interventions in this episode of Just Science.  This season is in…

Preemptive Approach to Combatting and Characterizing Emerging Synthetic Opioids

This webinar originally occurred on Monday, February 8th, 2021 Duration: 1 hour This webinar described how preemptive synthesis and characterization of potent psychoactive substances from the literature can aid forensic scientists in the identification of unknowns appearing in samples emerging…
Drug paraphernalia

Novel Synthetic Opioids in Oral Fluid: Analytical Methods and Prevalence

This webinar originally occurred on Thursday, February 11th, 2021 Duration: 1 hour Opioid use has risen dramatically, creating public safety concerns. Synthetic opioids can be hundreds of times more potent than heroin and can produce severe intoxications and even fatalities…

The hidden costs of the opioid crisis and the implications for financial management in the public sector

Jeri Ropero-Miller and Paul Speaker   Report Date Volume 1, 2019, Pages 227-238 Abstract The November 2017 release of the Council of Economic Advisers’ White House report on the opioid crisis suggests that prior consideration of expenses severely underestimated the…
A clean laboratory full of glass equipment

ASCLD Train the Director – Toxicology: Instrumentation, Methodology, and Workflows

This webinar originally occurred on February 6th, 2020 Duration: 1.5 hours Legacy workflows in toxicology generally involve a drug class screen followed by a gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS) and liquid chromatography mass spectroscopy (LC/MS-MS) confirmation analysis. Additional techniques could also…

2019 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…
Custom graphics with the words Global Monitoring/ Substance Identification, Trend Analysis, Toxicology Portal, Risk Communication, Prioritization for International Action, and National Legislative Responses

UNODC Early Warning Alert System: Forensic Tools for New Psychoactive Substances

This webinar originally occurred on December 3rd, 2019 Duration: 1 hour The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Early Warning Advisory (EWA) on new psychoactive substances (NPS) was launched in June 2013 as a response to the emergence…
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Forensic Epidemiology: Monitoring Fatal Drug Overdose Trends

This webinar originally occurred on February 11th, 2020Duration: 1 hour Given the vital role of medical examiners and coroners (ME/C) in recognizing emerging trends in drug overdose deaths, partnering epidemiologists with ME/C offices can greatly enhance the utility of the…
chemical compounds behind glass tube

Best Practices in Novel Psychoactive Substances Testing for Laboratory Practitioners

NIJ’s FTCoE and Center for Forensic Science Research and Education   Report Date September 2019 Introduction New psychoactive substances (NPS) have always presented a challenge to analytical laboratories tasked with identifying drugs in biological and nonbiological material. The pace at…
scientist examining chemical compounds

Improving National Laboratory Capability and Capacity to Measure Human Exposure to Synthetic Opioids

This webinar originally occurred on September 3rd, 2019  Duration: 1 hour The CDC laboratory at the National Center for Environmental Health is collaborating with public, private, and academic laboratories to respond to the opioid overdose epidemic. Some states are leveraging…
chemical compounds

Opioids & Emerging Drug Threats – Integrating Public Safety and Health Data for a Forensic Response Webinar Series

Overview 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) will assist the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) in a complementary initiative surrounding the topic by hosting…
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The Opioid Epidemic: An Update from the Coroner/ME Perspective

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 Duration: 50 minutes Between 2016 and 2017, overdose deaths increased from 63,632 to 70,237. Of these, 47,600 overdose deaths involved opioids. In 2017, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and the District of Columbia were the top…
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Understanding the Impact of Drug Background Levels in Forensic Laboratories

This webinar originally occurred on August 13th, 2019 Duration: 2 hours As drugs become increasingly potent and analytical instrumentation becomes more sensitive, the need to understand and monitor drug background levels is becoming imperative.  Background monitoring is commonplace in many…

Novel Forensic Chemistry Research from Early-Career Scientists

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM ET Duration: 1.5 hour(s) National Forensic Science Week recognizes the contribution that forensic science makes to the criminal justice system. Throughout the week, the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE)…

Webinar: Identifying Seized Drugs using Mass Spectral Library Searching

 Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 1:00:00 PM ET – 2:00:00 PM ET Duration: 1 hour(s) The rapid spread of designer drugs has introduced significant identification challenges to the forensic science community. This webinar discusses how Mass Spectrometry and the “Hybrid Search”…

Three Part Online Workshop Series: Best Practices Guidance for Advancing Research Initiatives and Combatting the Synthetic Drug Epidemic

Archives   Overview The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education (CFSRE) is a world-leading center in novel drug identification and interpretation. The CFSRE is working in association with NIJ’s Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (FTCoE), led by RTI International,…

Conference Proceedings: 2018 Research and Development Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…

Making The Case For Prevention: Fighting The Opioid Epidemic

← Back to Series  This webinar focuses on universal and primary prevention efforts to address prescription drug misuse and abuse; and the use of innovative analytic techniques to evaluate their effectiveness. The current response to the opioid epidemic has appropriately…

Fentalogs – Pharmacology, Toxicology & Analytical Approaches

← Back to Series  We will review the chemistry of fentanyl, its analogs and precursors, their pharmacology and relative potency, and approaches to identifying novel fentanyl analogs in forensic toxicology casework. Fentanyl and its analogs, sometimes called “The Fentalogs”, are…

Identify Synthetic Opioids using Ambient Ionization TOF-MS

← Back to Series  This webinar will present the results of the evaluation of Direct Sample Analysis Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry to provide rapid identification of eighteen fentanyl analogs and related synthetic opioid. As of March 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration…

Reports of Adverse Events Associated with Use of Novel Psychoactive Substances, 2013–2016: A Review

This article was published in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology and authored by Barry K. Logan, Amanda L.A. Mohr, Melissa Friscia, Alex J. Krotulski, Donna M. Papsun, Sherri L. Kacinko, Jeri D. Ropero-Miller, Marilyn A. Huestis. This work was developed, in…

2016 National Institute of Justice Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium

This report was published in RTI Press, a global publisher of peer-reviewed, open-access publications on a broad range of topics. The areas of focus reflect RTI’s multidisciplinary research, our expertise in social and laboratory sciences, and our extensive international activities. Since…