Drugs Analysis:

Forensic Science Ireland
Eolaíocht Fhóiréinseach Éireann

// Science Supporting Justice

Drugs Analysis:

The Drugs section examines and analyses substances, seized by An Garda Síochána or Revenue's Customs Service officers and sometimes the Military Police, that are thought to contravene the Misuse of Drugs Act.

Drug Tablets
The drugs most commonly encountered in the laboratory are herbal cannabis, cannabis resin, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, BZP and MDMA tablets.

However, in recent times there has been a huge increase in "headshop" type drugs and further changes to drugs legislation, which has led to an exponential increase in the variety of compounds submitted to the laboratory for analysis. As a result hundreds of different compounds can be analysed by staff on an annual basis.

Clandestine Labs
Items that possibly come into contact with such substances, e.g. weighing scales, knives, equipment from clandestine labs etc., may be examined to determine if traces of a controlled substance are present.

A number of analytical procedures are used in the laboratory to determine if a substance is a controlled drug, the most common of which is gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS). GC/MS provides a powerful means of positively identifying a controlled substance. The results of the analysis are issued in a certificate-of-analysis that is presented as evidence in the court. The laboratory monitors trends in drug use in support of the National Advisory Committee on Drugs (NACD).