Designer Drugs: N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) and 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP)

Designer Drugs: N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) and 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl)piperazine (TFMPP) With the influx of designer drugs readily available via Internet sources laboratories across the United States are seeing an increase in cases containing these substances. N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) and 1-(3-trifluoromethylphenyl) piperazine (TFMPP) are phenylpiperazine analogues and just two of the numerous compounds available that are often referred to as[…]


Ketamine: Not Your Average “Special K”

Ketamine: Not Your Average “Special K” Recently I had the honor to present at the joint meeting of the Southwestern and California Associations of Toxicologists on the use of ketamine in pediatric cases. Ketamine has a long history as a pharmaceutical agent for both human and veterinary medicine as an anesthetic agent in emergency medicine.[…]


On the Trail of Poison Mysteries (Popular Mechanics, 1929)

On the Trail of Poison Mysteries by Paul D. Paddock (Popular Mechanics, 1929) This is an interesting article on of the early role of Forensic Toxicology in criminal investigations. An excerpt “Poisons and mysterious deaths have been linked in the public mind since the dawn of history but modern chemical science has done much to[…]

By Lin Kristensen from New Jersey, USA (Timeless Books) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) Proposal

Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) Proposal Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) proposal published in the British Medical Journal suggests that all clinical trials including those that are abandoned or considered “invisible” be published.1 “Invisible trials are those that have never been published. Abandoned trials are unpublished trials that sponsors are no longer actively[…]


Alcohol and Caffeine

Many of us are aware of the trend in combining energy drinks and alcohol.  In 2010, the Food and Drug Administration announced that alcoholic beverages with caffeine were not properly tested therefore not considered safe for sell in the United States.1 However, the combination of alcohol with caffeinated products including energy drinks continues, resulting in[…]

skull and crossbones

Opiate Use and Misuse

Next month the National Safety Council will host a symposium “Preventing Prescription Drug Overdoses: A National Strategy” in Atlanta to address the growing prescription drug misuse and overdose rate. One particular drug class that we see alarming growth in numbers of unintentional deaths is opioid analgesics. Some shocking statistics and facts were presented in the[…]

designer drugs

Designer Drugs

Legal alternatives for illicit compounds have had a tremendous impact on the criminal justice system and forensic laboratories. Expanding our understanding of these new psychoactive substances has been a challenge to the field of Forensic Toxicology. Users of illicit compounds have turned to these “legal” counterparts for their varied effects. They include the synthetic cathinones,[…]