Forensic Drug Analysis 

Understand what science requires to positively identify drugs of abuse in pre-consumption form. 

How?  By hands-on testing in a real lab for 4 days.

Is that tablet legal or illicit?
Is that white powder cocaine?
What is the concentration of the heroin seized?
Is this a counterfeit or genuine pharmaceutical drug?

Understand how laboratories identify drugs of abuse in their pre-consumption form.

“Learn the mistakes that analysts can make – by making them yourself.” – Lawyer-Scientist Rick Ramos

The 2nd of 4 courses needed to earn the ACS-CHAL Lawyer-Scientist Designation

After this course you will be able to competently represent people charged with possession of controlled substances and/or possession with intent and/or manufacturing.

Forensic Drug Analysis provides hands-on experience with the scientific techniques used to test drugs of abuse in their pre-consumption form.

The essential element of the crime charged is that the seized unknown is in fact all illegal drug.  For far too long, lawyers have accepted that the seized evidence is an illegal drug just because of one sentence in a crime lab report.  You can change that paradigm with the knowledge you gain in this course.  Like South Carolina Attorney Joe Good:

“To just accept that test as confirmatory would be crazy, because it’s not.”

Hear what other students say.

Get hands-on experience testing unknowns using

reagents (colormetric tests)
GC-MS instruments
GC-FID instruments
FTIR instruments

Course Description

By the end of this course, lawyers will be able to understand how drug testing in pre-consumption form (solid drug dose) is conducted for nearly all drugs of abuse, sources of uncertainty (misidentification) of the qualitative measure, sources of uncertainty (wrong concentration or weight) of the quantitative measure, representative sampling, validation of methods, bench work, and federal analog act prosecution.

Day 1
8:45 am Introduction to Forensic Drug Chemistry
Why is this different than DUI?
Drug evidence and drug analyses
10:00 am

The Government’s Burden: Accurate and Reliable Science

  • The capital properties of analytical chemistry
  • What makes good science?
    • Quality assurance/Quality control
  • Accreditation Requirements
10:45 am Break
11:00 am Guided exercise: Introduction to ISO Guide 17025 and ASCLD/LAB and lab
discovery requests
11:45 am Lunch
1:00 pm

Anatomy of a Drug Case

  • Chain of custody
  • Evidence description
  • Weighing, sampling, and uncertainty
  • Drug analysis/qualitative analysis
1:45 pm Break
2:00 pm

Anatomy of a Drug Case—Presumptive Testing

Color Tests

2:30 pm

Anatomy of a Drug Case—Confirmatory Testing

Sample extraction for GC/MS

2:45 pm Break
3:00 pm Live Demonstration of Color Testing and Sample Preparation
3:15 pm Lab exercise: Color testing and sample prep at the bench
Prepare and load GC/MS sequences
5:00 pm End of session
Day 2
8:45 am Guided exercise: Data analysis for color testing
9:00 am

Anatomy of a Drug Case—Confirmatory Testing

  • GC/MS
10:30 am Break
10:45 am Guided exercise: GC/MS data analysis (instructor provided data files)
11:45 am Lunch
1:00 pm Lab exercise: GC/MS data analysis of case samples
2:00 pm Break
2:15 pm

Anatomy of a Drug Case—Confirmatory Testing

  • FTIR
3:15 pm Break
3:30 pm Lab exercise: FTIR analysis of samples
5:00 pm End of session
Day 3
8:45 am Guided exercise: Conclusions = Color test + GC/MS + FTIR
9:15 am

Qualitative Drug Analysis Conclusions

  • Reviewable data
  • QC data
  • Conclusions and Reporting
    • Accurate and Reliable
10:15 am Break
10:30 am

Marijuana Analysis:

  • The SWGDRUG exception
  • Validation is not general acceptance
11:15 am Lab exercise: Botanical testing—microscopy, Duquenois-Levine and TLC
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Continue lab exercise: Botanical testing
2:00 pm Guided exercise: Data analysis for botanical testing
2:30 pm Break
2:45 pm Live Demonstration of Cross-Exam of Marijuana Analyst
3:45 pm Break
4:00 pm Currency Analysis with the IONSCAN
5:00 pm End of session
Day 4
8:45 am

Modern Issues in Forensic Drug Chemistry

  • The wave of new drugs
  • Legislative control by chemical class
  • Analog laws and prosecutions
10:15 am Break
10:30 am

Modern Issues in Forensic Drug Chemistry

  • McFadden v. US
10:45 am Live Demonstration of Cross-Exam of Cocaine Analyst
12:00 pm End of session

Are you currently able to vigorously represent your clients when the crime lab report says it’s illegal drugs?

Invest 4 days and get the total immersion training you need to understand forensic drug analysis.

We know it’s easy to get lost with the science. So here is some help.

Hands-on experience is essential to “understand how all the mistakes can possible be made, and [how to] use them for you clients advantage.” James Fletcher

Register Now

Forensic Drug Analysis

Solid Drug Analysis for Legal Professionals

Where: Axion Labs, Chicago IL

Solid Drug Analysis X
Solid Drug Analysis X