"Something New In Something Old" the Irish Experience of Analytical Issues Encountered In the Analysis of Items Suspected To Contain Controlled Substances

John Power, forensic laboratory, Forensic Science Ireland, Ireland

The analysis of materials seized by law enforcement agencies and suspected of containing controlled substances is analytically challenging.

Challenges include the variation in the sample matrix encountered and the shear amount of new substances encountered in recent years. The rapid increase in the diversity of substances now available on illicit markets is evidenced by the fact that in excess of 680 substances are now monitored by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and approximately 70% of these new substances were detected in the EU for the first time in the past 5 years.

Forensic Science Ireland provides scientific evidence to law enforcement agencies and in the course of this presentation I will present some of the techniques used and explore issues which  have arisen with casework examples.

Short Biography of Presenting Author

John was employed at the Equine Forensic laboratory between 1980-1990 analysing horse blood and urine samples  for the presence of doping agents. In 1989, John obtained an MSc from Trinity College Dublin which was based upon the replacement of horse urine liquid-liquid extraction methods with supported solid phase extraction methods. Since 1990,  John has been employed in Forensic Science Ireland and  has worked mainly within the controlled substances area but he also manages the toxicological analysis in suspected drug facilitated sexual assault cases. In 2018, John obtained a PhD from his research interest in novel impurities found in amphetamine importations cases. John would stress that he is not an academic but approaches issues from a working scientist’s viewpoint

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