This book describes clinical and forensic toxicology practice with a strong emphasis on the laboratory investigation of suspected poisoning and interpretation of findings within a clinical or forensic context. Split into three parts, the book starts with an overview of practical aspects, including an introduction to clinical and forensic toxicology; clinical and laboratory aspects of the diagnosis and treatment of suspected poisoning; post–mortem toxicology the investigation of sudden or unexpected deaths; biochemical toxicology, including adsorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs and other foreign compounds; specimen collection, preservation, storage and chain of custody; analytical toxicology extraction and isolation of drugs and poisons; chemical immunoassay, chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques; reference materials, standards, method validation and quality assurance; and laboratory organisation and guidelines for clinical and forensic toxicology laboratories.
The second part deals with specific drugs and poisons, including: amphetamines, ecstasy (MDMA) and related compounds including mephadrone and legal highs ; cocaine; heroin and other opiates, including morphine and codeine; methadone and other important opioids; GHB and ketamine; cannabis and cannabinoids; carbon monoxide and other toxic gases; methanol and other toxic alcohols and glycols; paracetamol and other non–opioid analgesics including salicylate; antidepressents and other important psychotropic drugs; metallic poisons, including arsenic, lead, mercury, and thallium; poisonous plants and fungi; pesticides and selected herbicides; anabolic steroids and other performance–enhancing drugs in sport; and volatile substance abuse. Each chapter will typically include: background/source/use, administration, pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, investigation, detection/analysis, toxicity and treatment, dependence, agonists, bibliography/references, and case studies.
Finally, the book concludes with selected special topics, including: clinical and forensic aspects of the measurement of alcohol in body fluids and the investigation of alcohol–related deaths; drug facilitated crimes DFSA and its investigation; investigation of suspected poisoning in vulnerable groups (children and the elderly); workplace and insurance testing for drug and alcohol misuse; clinical applications of drugs of abuse screening in the treatment of drug and alcohol misuse; and drugs and driving impairment.