Synthetic Opioids Epidemic and Forensic Science: A Multidisciplinary Session


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The scientific program of the upcoming AAFS 70th Annual Scientific Meeting is definitely not devoid of diverse perspectives focused on the current synthetic opioids mortality crisis in our society. You will not want to miss this multidisciplinary session held on Thursday, February 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., hosted by the Criminalistics Section (Session II). This is a collaborative endeavor with the General, Pathology/Biology, and Toxicology sections with experts ready to share their unique perspectives and experiences. This session will illuminate what forensic scientists are doing to safely investigate, analyze, identify, and combat the controlled and unregulated substances that are the root cause of this grave national problem.

Moderators Vincent Desiderio (Criminalistics) and Michael Rieders (Toxicology) will host a panel of leading experts from different interdependent disciplines, followed by a panel discussion with the active participation of the attendees. Make your voice heard!

Subjects to be covered include:

  • An Update on the AAFS Ad Hoc Committee on Synthetic Opioids presented by Agnes Winokur, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Southeast Laboratory, Miami, FL (Criminalistics)
  • Investigative Considerations and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Prohibited Mail Narcotics Program presented by Brandon Callahan, USPIS, Baltimore, MD (invited speaker)
  • Medicolegal Death Investigation in the Changing Face of Drug Overdoses presented by Erin Worrell, Cuyahoga County OME, Cleveland, OH (General)
  • DEA’s Fentanyl Signature Profiling Program: Analyses of Illicit Fentanyl and Fentanyl-Related Seizures for Tactical and Strategic Intelligence presented by John Casale, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Dulles, VA (Criminalistics)
  • Utility of a “Real Time” Public Access Dataset of Regionalized Overdose Data presented by Karl Williams, Allegheny County OME, Pittsburgh, PA (Pathology/Biology)
  • Novel Opioids: Pharmacology, Toxicology, and Trends presented by Sherri Kacinko, NMS Labs, Willow Drive, PA (Toxicology)

A panel discussion of questions from the audience will follow.

Please join us to engage in how Science Matters in addressing this unprecedented threat and unceasing epidemic. Join the battle to bring America out of the crisis.