A glance at the publications list of most large publishers indicates that books on the subject of forensic science are flourishing. A recent search of the books for sale on the topic of drug and pharmaceutical analysis at Amazon.com had 303 entries! Why, then, do the editors of this Handbook of Forensic Drug Analysis believe that another entry in this field is needed? The reason is that there is a gap in the available works on drug analysis: a comprehensive, detailed, up-to-date work aimed at drug chemists and other scientists who need to analyze abused drugs. Many books discuss drug analysis and even present a few methods in some detail, but there is no volume that covers all of the important methods of analysis on the most commonly abused drugs in a comprehensive way.
There are literally hundreds of drugs that are commonly abused, and many of these are legally sanctioned by many countries. In the United States, the Uniform Drug Control Act covers many of the most common illicit drugs. But if one looks at what drugs show up in forensic drug laboratories day after day all over the world, one finds really only a handful of common ones. The Handbook of Forensic Drug Analysis covers these few, most important illicit drugs. They include marijuana, cocaine, the major opiates, the common hallucinogens, and amphetamines. Beyond these drugs, the Handbook also explores the subject of clandestine laboratories, which are becoming an epidemic in the United States, especially methamphetamine labs. Detailed methods for handling and analyzing the drugs and other materials seized from these labs are presented. There is also a major chapter on immunoassay technologies applied to illicit drugs. Very few works on drug analysis even mention immunoassay methods, let alone describe them in detail, yet they are widely used in workplace drug testing and drug screenings.
The Handbook of Forensic Drug Analysis is not meant for the casual reader interested in gaining an overview of illicit drugs. This book is for the serious scientist who needs to have the latest comprehensive information on the analysis of the most common illicit drugs.
The editor of this volume is Dr. Frederick P. Smith at the University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut. Dr. Smith has spent his career in research, publishing, and teaching in the area of forensic drug chemistry and is recognized as one of the most qualified U.S. scientists in the field. He has assembled a veritable who's who of experts in this field to contribute their special insights and knowledge about controlled substances. Readers and users of this handbook will find the most current and comprehensive information available on the subject of the analysis of illicit drugs.
Director, Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program Indiana University, Purdue University, Indianapolis
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