Pharmacogenomics is a field that studies genetic differences in sensitivity to therapeutically used drugs. We have learned that some medications are not effective in some individuals, or super effective and even likely to result in adverse effects in others due to genetic polymorphisms. Similarly, toxicogenomics investigates sensitivities with toxic chemicals, including carcinogens.
In the absence of physical evidence or eyewitness testimony, establishing a criminal charge of child sexual abuse often boils down to a “he said, she said” weighing of credibility of the accuser and accused. As the burden of proof lies on the prosecution to establish the charge beyond a reasonable doubt, witness testimony becomes paramount in determining the outcome of the case. If the alleged victim is suffering from a serious mental illness, such as psychosis, that impairs one’s ability to either accurately recall the alleged abuse or distinguish reality from fantasy, witness credibility will suffer, and the defendant will likely be found not guilty. For both plaintiff and defense counsel, when there is any suspicion of psychotic illness in the accuser, it is critical to assess the following before trial: type and severity of mental illness, genetics, drug use, previous abuse, and neglect.
Cocaine remains a popular drug of abuse, and per HHS (2008) of 6.5 million US Federal workplace drug tests, about 40,000 were positive for cocaine in 2007. Drug testing for cocaine is based on the metabolite benzoylecogonine which is detectable in the user’s urine for 24 hours, possibly even up to 72 hours. Non-metabolized cocaine may only be detectable for 4-6 hours following use, making it a less useful target in a drug testing program.
Presumptive tests, also known as preliminary tests or field tests, allow drugs to be quickly classified into a particular chemical group, but do not unequivocally identify the presence of a specific chemical compound. Preliminary drug test results are often included in a panel of tests, which then be used as a guide to an appropriate confirmatory test to determine and verify the chemical compounds present.
To be, or not to be, intoxicated! The expert witness-consultant is frequently confronted with this question in litigation matters relative to alcohol in the human body under diverse circumstances. Even given a diverse range of circumstances, the basic information can be encompassed as follows:
The currently most frequently requested tests, or, analytes in the Drugs of Abuse category are listed below. However, as will be discussed later in this report, there are other designations that refer the these same drugs or drug classes. Furthermore, if one were to make an exhaustive listing of all of the many "Street Names" for these available drug products, the listing would have several hundred entries.
Benzene is a highly volatile aromatic hydrocarbon solvent which is present in most petroleum distillates such as Stoddard solvent and mineral spirits. Recent advances in the purification process for these solvents has reduced the benzene content significantly, but it is still present in products such as WD-40 and Liquid Wrench as well as many solvents used in the printing industry and elsewhere.
Lead is ubiquitous in our environment. It used to be contained in gasoline but has now been replaced. It has been used in pipes, ceramic glazes, paints, and solder, among other sources. Exposure can be oral through ingestion of food or water or by inhalation from lead-containing dust or dirt.
Cocaine users may exhibit behavioral deficits. These include deficits in attention, learning, memory, executive function, and response speed.
Methadone is an opioid thought to act by decreasing release of neurotransmitters in the brain resulting in respiratory suppression and, in some cases, death.