Glossary

Adulterant pharmacologically active material such as caffeine that is added to an illicit drug to dilute it alkaloid basic molecule obtained (or at one time obtained) from a plant. Alkaloids are basic due to the presence of an amine group. Caffeine, cocaine, and the opiates are examples of alkaloids. anabolic steroid steroid, natural or synthetic, that encourages muscle growth and purportedly improves athletic performance analgesic drug that alleviates pain, such as aspirin, acetaminophen, or...

Classification BY schedule THE CoNTRoLLED substances act and listed chemicals

For the forensic chemist the legal categorization of a drug is nearly as important as the chemical and physiological one. If a drug is described as a drug of abuse, this generally means that the drug or compounds related to it that have fallen subject to regulations and laws. In turn, this typically occurs because the drug or related compounds have potential to be abused and to cause harm. Abused drugs tend to be those that produce significant psychological and physiological effects. The...

Conclusions The Future of Drugs Poisons and chemistry

The world of forensic chemistry illicit drugs and poisons in particular never stands still. There will always be a race between those making and using illegal drugs and those working to detect, analyze, characterize, and control them. Illicit drugs go through cycles of birth, popularity, and decline. In the 1990s cocaine was a major concern now it is methamphetamine. In 2020 it will be something else. What remains constant is the need for society to define what drugs it will control and for...

Introduction

Chemestry Org Ore Com

Chemistry has been described as the central science because many other sciences arise from its principles. Biology is the study of life, and life is the result of complex chemical actions, reactions, and interactions. The scientific bridges linking chemistry and biology are biochemistry and molecular biology. These disciplines seek to understand how chemistry creates life and how life works at the level of chemical reactions. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the molecule that carries genes and...

Gold

Gold (Au) is a precious metal, meaning that even in ancient times people recognized that it has special properties and is extremely rare. The symbol Au comes from the Latin word aurum. Aside from its beautiful appearance, gold does not tarnish. Chemically this means that gold does not react with oxygen (O2) in the air, so it retains its lustrous appearance over time. Gold also does not react with water or many acids or bases, so it is extremely durable. For this reason gold is frequently used...

M J B Orfila The Father of Forensic Toxicology

Orfila (National Library of Medicine) Mathieu Joseph Bonaventure (Mateu Josep Bonaventura) Orfila (1 787-1853) was born in Catalonia, Spain, but as a medical student moved to France, where he worked and became professor of forensic chemistry and dean of the medical faculty at the University of Paris. He began publishing articles describing his work early in his career his first paper on poisons appeared in 1814, when he was 26 years old. Orfila spent a good deal of time...

Forensic Drug Analysis

The main difference between forensic toxicology and forensic drug analysis is the sample types. Toxicologists work with drugs and poisons found in the blood, bodily fluids, and tissues, while forensic chemists work with the drugs and poisons before they are ingested. In a typical local or state crime laboratory drug cases represent the largest caseload and work that the laboratory performs. Of those cases the largest single group of cases usually involves marijuana. The job of the forensic drug...

William Brooke OShaughnessy A Pioneer in Pharmacology

Sir William Brooke O'Shaughnessy (1809-89) was a British forensic chemist who enjoyed a wide-ranging career. He took on a project in 1830 at the request of the editor of the prestigious medical journal The Lancet related to a rash of poisonings seemingly traceable to candy. Ever the methodical chemist, he developed a systematic method of testing for the presence of organic and inorganic poisons that found their way into candy by accident or design. Mindful of the tendency of children to suck on...

Drugs as evidence

The analysis of materials suspected to be or to contain controlled substances represents the largest portion of the workload in most forensic laboratories. When suspected controlled substances are submitted as physical evidence (exhibits), the forensic chemist must identify and in some cases quantify the controlled substances present. The most common forms of evidence seen can be summarized as the five p's powders, plant matter, pills, precursors, and paraphernalia. Powders run the gamut of...

What a Difference a Century Makes

Cocaine will make the coward brave, the silent eloquent and free victims of alcohol and opium from their bondage. Park Davis, pharmaceutical advertisement* The original formula for Coca-Cola was invented by chemist John S. Pemberton, whose goal was to create the perfect medicinal drink. He had heard about extracts of the coca plant and knew of the purported stimulant and aphrodisiac effects. His first concoction was Pemberton's French Wine Cola, launched in 1885. It sold particularly well in...

Walter McCrone and Microchemistry

Negative head and torso views of the Shroud of Turin, dated May 18, 2006 P Deliss Godong Corbis At first it might seem as if history, forensic chemistry, and microscopes have little in common. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many chemical tests used as part of forensic chemistry and toxicology can be performed on a small scale, so small that the results require the use of a microscope to observe. Specialized tests and analyses using microscopes have also been developed and used. The...

Sports Toxicology

Obtaining samples from athletes shares many similarities with forensic sampling. The samples must be collected under tightly controlled conditions in which there is no question from whom or where the sample came. The samples must be kept safe and covered by a chain-of-custody document indicating who had control of the samples from collection through analysis and disposal. How these requirements are met is governed by the sports authority that oversees that particular sport and athlete. The...

Absorbed Poisons

It is possible to absorb a fatal dose of a poison, even through protective gloves. Toxicologists played an important role in the investigation of the illness and death of Karen Wetterhahan, a professor in the Dartmouth College Department of Chemistry, in February 1997. Wetterhahan, 48, was using dimethyl mercury CH3-Hg-CH3 in her research. As described in a report issued by the U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration OSHA , the incident occurred while she was working in a fume hood...

The Case of Mary Blandy

An important test used in early toxicology was developed in 1836 by chemist James Marsh 1794-1846 , nearly 80 years after the Mary Blandy case. The Blandy case marked the beginning of a wider reliance on and demand for trustworthy scientific tests for detection of poisons. Shortly after Blandy's execution Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele 1742-86 developed a postmortem test for arsenic. Scheele was an apothecary's assistant and an excellent technician who discovered the element chlorine. His...