The collaboration between forensic toxicology laboratories and public health organizations can be a critical tool in guiding public safety and public health decisions to help address the significant public health crisis that has arisen from the increasing use of prescription and illicit opioids. This presentation will provide an overview on the role of forensic toxicology in providing analysis, interpretation of results and research on the different opioids that have been detected throughout the opioid epidemic. The different categories of opioids detected in each wave of the opioid crisis will be discussed including the challenges that result from the proliferation of newer synthetic opioids including fentanyl analogues, and other novel synthetic opioids such as U-47700.
1. Define the opioid crisis.
2. Identify the different types of opioids that have been observed at different stages of the opioid crisis.
3. Explain how forensic toxicologists can collaborate with public health and law enforcement agencies in identifying and interpreting opioid concentrations in forensic casework.