Paper On Forensics

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Jayce Keller - u0923042
Forensic Anthropology

Testing Toxicology for Drugs and the Effect They Have On the Brain

Forensic science has been a revelation in law enforcement. After the first American forensic lab was established in 1929 by the Los Angeles police department, using forensic sciences has been pretty much used in every major crime investigation (What is Forensic Science, p.1). What exactly is forensic science? According to an article put out by the University of Western Australia, "Forensics is the term given to an investigation of a crime using scientific means. It is also used as the name of the application of scientific knowledge to legal matters" (What is Forensic Science, p.1). Forensics is fairly open ended; …show more content…

The possible drugs that can be tested include, "anabolic steroids, cocaine, amphetamines, cannabinoids, opiates, bronchodilators, phencyclidine…" the list goes on (Shah, par. 2). Being able to test for such a wide range of drugs just through hair makes forensic drug analysis very trustworthy for evidence, and it being so easy to test hair there's no real downside. A number of chemicals and solvents are applied to hair samples in order to decontaminate from any external entity that could sway the testing. After the hair has been decontaminated, the screening process starts which is "calibrated with a tailored drug mixture and [is] validated for [20 or more] selected drugs", and this whole process "instrument run time [is] 8 minutes" (Shah, par.2). An 8 minute test that can give results for over 20 different drugs is an extremely useful test for forensic applications in both live and postmortem cases. The amount of possibilities for this method to be refined makes this test one of the best test available for impurity profiling. In a study regarding hair-based testing for drugs the Chemistry Central Journal had this to say: "[This] method is selective, sensitive and robust for the screening and confirmation of multiple drugs in a single analysis and has potential as a very useful tool for the analysis of large array of controlled …show more content…

Because injection is a very popular way to use this drug, the transfer of bodily fluids or blood becomes increasingly high which puts heroin abusers at a very high risk for contraction of HIV or HCV infection (NIH, par. 8-9). Because of this link, it turns out that drug abuse treatment is an effective way to prevent the spread of HIV and HCV. It can be conducted from hair-based testing if a person was using heroin which can aid in the diagnoses of drug abuse to determine if a person died of overdose or to determine if they contracted HIV or HCV through drug use

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