Forensic Toxicology

Our toxicology teams provide a wide range of highly specialised analytical drug testing services for the detection and quantitation of therapeutic and illicit substances in biological samples. Our toxicology staff work collaboratively with partner NSW Government agency staff (including the NSW Coroners Court, Department of Communities and Justice, NSW Health, NSW Police and Transport for NSW) to ensure the safety of and support for individuals and families across NSW. Toxicology services are delivered by the following teams:

Forensic Toxicology Laboratory: This laboratory analyses biological samples using a range of leading-edge analytical techniques and instrumentation to identify the presence of an extensive range of therapeutic and illicit substances. Our team works closely with the Forensic Medicine service and the Coroners Court to give a comprehensive view of substances which may be relevant in ascertaining a cause of death. This analytical service is available to clinical toxicologists within NSW Health via the NSW Poisons Information Centre to aid in identifying substances which may be implicated in severe drug toxicity presentations to emergency departments.

For further information: NSWPath-FassForensicTox@health.nsw.gov.au

Drugs and Driving Toxicology: This laboratory analyses biological samples using a range of leading-edge analytical techniques and instrumentation to detect and quantitate alcohol and a broad range of therapeutic and illicit substances. NSW Police use results of our analyses to determine if alcohol, therapeutic or illicit drugs were present in either individuals involved in motor vehicle accidents, individuals suspected of driving under the influence, or people involved in a range of offences (including homicide and drug facilitated assaults). This service supports Government legislation, policy, road safety plans and campaigns within NSW.

For further information: NSWPath-FASSDrugs&Driving@health.nsw.gov.au

Drug Toxicology Unit:  provides high throughput drug testing of biological samples using a range of leading-edge analytical techniques and instrumentation to detect and quantitate an extensive range of therapeutic and illicit substances. The work performed by our team supports rehabilitation care for vulnerable people in our communities reducing the social and economic harms of drug misuse within the NSW community. Our staff work closely with the Department of Communities and Justice, NSW Health, Australian Institute of Criminology, as well as other non-government organisations in the drug and alcohol sector. This work supports statewide programs and policies including drug, alcohol and opioid treatment programs, NSW Drug Court and MERIT programs, and Corrective Services policies and procedures. Our scientific staff also design bespoke illicit and therapeutic drug assays to support clinical trials and research.

For further information: NSWPath-FASSDTUEnquiries@health.nsw.gov.au