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Coleman, Lorraine (2008) The State Laboratory annual report 2006. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 25, Spring 2008, p. 26.

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Under its customer charter, the State Laboratory is committed to providing a top quality analytical and advisory service for all its customers in an efficient and effective manner. 

 The Human Toxicology Section of the Laboratory provides analytical support for criminal investigations and for coroners’ investigations. The State Laboratory provides analysis on post-mortem biological samples to identify the presence or absence of legal drugs, illegal drugs and other substances and to quantify the levels of these substances. Information provided can indicate whether the deceased was taking medication or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of death, or whether a drug overdose was involved.
The main analyses carried out by the Human Toxicology Section in 2006 were ethanol determination, drug screening, drugs of abuse screening, quantification and determination of prescribed drugs and carbon monoxide determination. The screening for prescribed drugs can identify over 250 different drugs. Specific analyses are also available for illegal drugs, such as cocaine, ecstasy, opiates and cannabinoids. These drugs can be quantified and confirmed to a level that will satisfy the scrutiny of a court of law.
A total of 2,813 samples were analysed during 2006, an increase of 21.7% on the figure for 2000. Of these samples, 2,743 (97.5%) were analysed for coroners’ cases and 70 (2.5%) were for analysed for criminal cases.Confirmatory analyses carried out included 1,318 opiate analyses, 411 amphetamine (including ecstasy) analyses, 481 cocaine analyses and 360 cannabinoid analyses. The most commonly found prescribed drugs were diazepam and metabolite (658 results), methadone (160 results) and paracetamol (146 results).
(Lorraine Coleman)
The State Laboratory website is at www.statelab.ie
1. The State Laboratory (2007) Annual Report 2006. Dublin: The State Laboratory.
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Intervention Type
Screening / Assessment
Issue Title
Issue 25, Spring 2008
Page Range
p. 26
Health Research Board
Issue 25, Spring 2008
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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