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Drug screening in clinical or forensic toxicology: are there differences?

Dimitri Gerostamoulos & Jochen Beyer

abstract Legal and medical practitioners need to remember that, with respect to drug analysis, there are two distinct disciplines in analytical toxicology concerned with human biological matrices, namely clinical and forensic toxicology. Both fields use similar analytical techniques designed to detect and quantify drugs, chemicals and poisons in fluids or tissues. In clinical toxicology, analytical results help to specify the appropriate treatment of a poisoned or intoxicated patient. In forensic toxicology, the results often play a vital role in determining the possible impairment or behavioural changes in an individual, or the contribution of drugs or poisons to death in a medico-legal investigation. This column provides an overview of the similarities and differences inherent in clinical and forensic toxicology.
   
citation Gerostamoulos D, Beyer J. Drug screening in clinical or forensic toxicology: are there differences?. J Law Med 2010; 18:25-8.
   
type journal paper/review (English)
date of publishing 9-2010
journal title J Law Med (18/1)
ISSN print 1320-159X
pages 25-8
PubMed 20977157