The grant is called "Toxicology Terminology" where toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms. Forensic toxicology takes it a step further, including a number of related disciplines to assist in the detection and interpretation of drugs and poisons in medicolegal death investigations, human performance issues; e.g., driving under the influence, compliance and other related matters. Students will learn that all chemicals can be toxic in various amounts, how the tests can react with certain chemicals to provide a positive result, and the ramifications of drug use whether recreational, synthetic, or prescription abuse.
Scientists/toxicologists analyze the specimens submitted to the crime lab and then provide interpretation of the significance of the results based on information received about the case. Our students will learn about the possible job opportunities in toxicology which may be field police officers, work in crime laboratories, medical examiners’ offices, government health laboratories or even independent providers, depending on the criminal justice structure in a given community. Forensic toxicologists employ a large number of analytical techniques to determine the drugs or poisons relevant to a case investigation; the capacity of a laboratory to conduct routine toxicological analysis will vary dependent upon equipment, technical capability and analyst experience. In our classroom/lab room, students will be exposed to all the various testing kits available for various drugs and understand the chemistry that takes place when a positive color test is identified by the kit, and the laws that require proper forensic protocol.