Forensic Toxicology

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Written Exercise 4

You will select one item or subject of your choice from the forensic materials covered in this week’s class materials, including lectures and/or reading assignments, and write a paper representing an item or topic you find of interest or unusual. This must be in APA format and include a cover page, abstract, discussion, conclusion, and references. Your paper should go beyond the obvious, be written at a graduate level, and must be at least 1,200 words in length. You must use at least three resources to support your position. Remember, all resources including, but not limited to, journals, magazine, and/or books must be properly cited using APA style.


-Forensic toxicology is employed today primarily in two general areas. The first is  postmortem drug testing. This consists of death investigation with a goal of  establishing whether drugs were the cause or a contributing factor in death. There  are many fatalities due to accidental or deliberate drug overdose. A small percent  of such deaths are homicides. The task of the forensic pathologist is to explain what  caused each death that comes under his or her jurisdiction and to determine the  manner of death—that is, whether it was accidental, suicidal, or homicidal. In the  case of drug-related deaths, the forensic pathologist is assisted by the forensic toxicologist, who does comprehensive analyses of a wide variety of toxins from a large  variety of tissue sources. The ability of forensic investigators to find poisons in  human remains is a major factor in the dramatic decline in poisoning cases noted  over the past 150 years.  A second major area of forensic toxicology is workplace drug testing (see Case  Study 10.1). This consists of testing biofluids, primarily urine and blood, from employees or job applicants for the possible presence of drugs. The law usually allows random (unscheduled) drug testing for employees only if they have specific occupations,  such as customs agents and police officers, among others. In these occupations, the  law usually places the public safety above the employee’s right to privacy. Employees  may also be ordered to provide specimens for drug testing for cause, that is, if they 

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James, Stuart H.. Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fourth Edition (p. 259). CRC Press. Kindle Edition. \

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