Education & Training

Capital Litigation Initiative: Crime Scene to Courtroom Forensics Training

Webinar 4: Toxicology Essentials: Emphasis Opioids

Toxicology Essentials: Emphasis Opioids
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Toxicology Essentials: Emphasis Opioids includes a review of the basic toxicology and pharmacology of opioids followed by an overview of the opioid epidemic. The increase in use of controlled prescription drugs by patients and recreational users will be discussed using case studies and epidemiologic data. Using published data and case studies, problems of addiction and illicit opioid use will be discussed. A review of the reasons why patients switch from Controlled Prescription Drugs (CPDs) to Heroin will be presented, using case studies, statistics and demographic data regarding the therapeutic use of opioids and prevalence of abuse.

The impact of the opioid epidemic on death investigations also will be described and will include a discussion on the increase in heroin use, the emergence of illicit synthetic drugs into the community, and the complexity of polypharmacy (multiple drug administrations) cases. An overview of forensic toxicology testing, including the analytical testing procedures utilized and potential limitations to interpreting toxicology reports will be outlined.

This webinar is designed for capital litigators. It will discuss the legal implications of the opioid epidemic, offering tips and take-away points for defense attorneys and prosecutors.

Webinar panelists include:

  • Professor Carol Henderson is the founding director of the award-winning National Clearinghouse for Science, Technology and the Law (NCSTL) and a Professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law.
  • Dr. David Benjamin is a clinical pharmacologist and forensic toxicologist, and an affiliate associate professor, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Northeastern University School of Pharmacy. He holds a B.A. in Biological Sciences from Boston University and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Vermont College of Medicine.
  • Dr. Diane Boland is the Director of the Toxicology Laboratory in Miami Dade County Medical Examiner's Department. She earned her M.S. in Forensic Toxicology from the University of Florida and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Arizona.

Course materials:

View the webinar recording.

This webinar is designed for both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Attendees who complete this webinar will be eligible for Continuing Legal Education credits. The Stetson Office of Professional Education will work with each individual participant for reporting specifics. CLE applications will be made to Florida and other states per individual requests. Please email for further information and state specific requests.