Dr. Scott, Krug ’20M Explore Opioid Crisis in Forensic Science Journal

By Caitlin Burns | March 30, 2021

Dr. Karen Scott, director of the Forensic Science program, and Forensic Science alumnus Sam Krug ’20M had their advanced review, “A toxicological exploration of the opioid crisis,” published in the August issue of the WIREs Forensic Science journal. In the paper, the two explore the origins of opioids and the opioid crisis, and the different methods used to screen for opioids. 

Dr. Scott and Krug also point out important steps that are needed going forward so that the forensic and clinical fields can continue to better understand and combat the crisis. They suggest more collaboration between forensic and clinical laboratories to establish protocols and practices so that results can be consistent and reliable.

“Many extremely competent laboratories are hindered by lack of funding to support staff and instrumentation to tackle the volume of case samples that need to be tested both clinically and forensically,” they note. “As difficult as NPO [novel psychoactive opioid] analysis may be, international collaboration is necessary to ensure that forensic labs have the data available to assist in toxicological interpretation.”