September 2012 CFTN

An AACC/CAP Educational Newsletter for Toxicology Laboratories

Read the September 2012 Issue

How Good is the Evidence?
By Erin Kaleta, PhD

Addictions are psychiatric disorders that involve the persistent, compulsive need to use a substance despite adverse consequences. The definition of substance abuse in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) includes the following psychiatric criteria:

  • Spending a large amount of time obtaining, using, or recovering from the substance;
  • Using larger amounts of the substance for longer periods of time than expected;
  • Continuing substance use despite suffering social or occupational consequences;
  • Wishing persistently to discontinue use; and
  • Building tolerance to the substance and symptoms of withdrawal.

Now a Schedule IV Controlled Substance

By Nicole V. Tolan, PhD and Loralie J. Langman, PhD, DABCC, DABFT
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a final ruling late last year making carisoprodol a Schedule IV controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Until this ruling went into effect on January 12, 2012, the drug had been classified as a controlled substance in 18 states and monitored in a number of state prescription programs. While meprobamate, a major metabolite of carisoprodol, has been classified as a schedule IV controlled substance for more than 40 years, these two substances did not share the same federal distinction until just this year. It wasn’t until 2009 that DEA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register which resulted in the new scheduling.

The Scientific Working Group in Toxicology
The Who, What, and Why
By Robert Middleberg, PhD, DABFT, DABCC
Scientific Working Groups (SWG) originated in the early 1990s as a means to improve the practices of various disciplines and to build consensus with federal, state, and local forensic community partners. Originally sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), today other agencies such as the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) within the Department of Justice (DOJ) also support SWGs. In fact, at least 20 such groups exist today representing varied forensic science disciplines ranging from DNA (Scientific Working Group for DNA Analysis Methods; SWGDAM) to firearms and tool marks (Scientific Working for Firearms and Toolmarks; SWGGUN).