Systematic Drug Identification

Niamh Nic Daeid (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


The analysis of controlled substances has been undertaken by forensic chemists for decades. Across this time frame, while the technology available to analytical chemistry has advanced, the basic instrumentation and techniques used within the forensic chemistry environment has not greatly changed. In more recent years, the emergence of novel cathinone and synthetic cannabinoid based compounds has provided significant challenge to forensic drug chemists as the side chains of these molecules are frequently altered in order to overcome legislative control. This has resulted in identification challenges and as a consequence the use of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy as a tool in forensic chemistry for molecular elucidation is now becoming much more prevalent. This article provides information relating to the basic analytical techniques used in forensic drug chemistry as well as the analytical sequence most often followed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Analytical Science
EditorsPaul Worsfold, Alan Townshend, Colin Poole, Manuel Miró
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9780124095472
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameReference Module in Chemistry, Molecular Sciences and Chemical Engineering


  • GCMS
  • HPLC
  • Illicit drugs
  • Physical examination
  • Presumptive testing
  • Sampling techniques
  • TLC


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