Unseen Threats: A Webinar Series from the AAFS Opioids and Emerging Drugs Ad-Hoc Committee

Unseen Threats: A Webinar Series from the AAFS Opioids and Emerging Drugs Ad-Hoc Committee


This webinar series is based on the one-day workshop (“Unseen Threats”) that was sponsored by the Opioids and Emerging Drugs Ad-Hoc Committee at the 2022 American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) Annual Meeting. To follow up on this workshop, this three-day webinar series will bring visibility and clarity to topics that emphasize emerging drug threats. Electronic cigarettes and vaping, polydrug overdose deaths, concealment drug techniques, and illicit tablets are among the topics that generate challenges for the forensic community. By increasing awareness in these areas, the forensic community can become better equipped in developing processes in their laboratories that will assist them in handling emerging drugs more effectively. 

Upcoming Webinars

Things Are Not What They Seem: A Collection of Interesting Case Studies from the Medical Examiner Scene Queens 
This webinar originally occurred on May 19, 2022
Presenters: Erin M. Worrell, D-ABMDI & Liz Zaney, B.S., D-ABFT-FT

With the rise of illicit fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, synthetic cathinones, xylazine, and other substances adulterating many traditional street drugs, users often have no idea what they are consuming, leading to overdose and death. This further complicates toxicology testing and death determination. This presentation will cover interesting postmortem case studies from Ohio, Denver, and Miami from the scene perspective through autopsy and toxicology testing. Some of the cases involve unlikely victims, polydrug overdoses where an unexpected analyte was detected, and the latest trends.

Electronic Cigarettes: A Tangle of Regulation, Public Health, and Public Safety Issues  
This webinar originally occurred on May 24, 2022
Presenter: Michelle Peace, Ph.D.

While modern electronic cigarettes (ECIG) were invented as an effective alternate method for nicotine delivery, the unregulated cannabis industry and recreational drug consumers adopted them for their culture acceptability and concealability. Absent strong, clear federal regulations, the ECIG industry rapidly expanded product types and e-liquid formulations. E-liquids contain chemicals considered safe for oral consumption, creating an aura of safety for consumers. While the E-cigarette, or Vaping Product, Use Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) epidemic exposed the toxic nature of vaping, the ECIG industry has facilitated the public consumption of recreational drugs.

Narcotic Concealment Methods in U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Emergence of Counterfeit Tablets Containing Fentanyl in the United States
This webinar originally occurred on May 26, 2022
Presenters: Jason Bory, M.S. & Emily Lockhart, M.S.

Our first presenter will provide an overview of some of the more unique concealment methods utilized by drug traffickers, as well as some of the sampling and extraction methods used to prepare these submissions for analyses. Our second presenter will discuss trends associated with counterfeit tablets containing fentanyl seized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence webinar series has been provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this webinar series are those of the presenter(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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