Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2018, $140,000)
Every year for the last 5 years, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences (ADFS) has experienced a dramatic increase in the requests for forensic toxicology testing services associated with both overdose deaths and Drug related DUI testing cases from all areas of Alabama.
After completing a thorough and comprehensive gap analysis of the analytical testing process associated with opioid related cases in forensic toxicology, ADFS identified a significant bottleneck and delay in the testing process associated with the initial sample extraction. ADFS proposes to utilize Federal funds awarded to purchase and implement a robotic solid phase extraction instrument that will increase the quality and timeliness of forensic toxicology services while simultaneously increasing the capacity of the laboratory to minimize the recurrence of opioid related backlogs.
The addition of the robotic solid phase extraction instrument to the forensic toxicology laboratory will have a positive statewide impact, improving the timeliness of forensic toxicology reporting to all 450+ law enforcement agencies who routinely submit evidence to ADFS, while simultaneously improving the quality of the analytical process and reducing the backlog of cases awaiting testing. Most importantly, the purchase and implementation of the robotic solid phase extraction instrument will directly address the opioid epidemic in Alabama.
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