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Just Science: Forensic Advancement: Just Throwing Darts at the Opioid Crisis

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2018
Amber Burns
Publication Type
Report (Technical Assistance), Report (Grant Sponsored), Interview, Instructional Material (Programmed)
Grant Number(s)

This seventh episode of the Forensic Advancement season of the NIJ-funded Just Science podcast series consists of an interview with Amber Burns, Chemistry Section Manager for the Maryland State Police Department, who discusses the role of technology in efforts to counter the current opioid epidemic.


The interview focuses on forensic technology's efforts to detect the presence of fentanyl and other chemicals in recovered evidence samples. Fentanyl is one of the most prevalent opioids available to users and is becoming more difficult to identify. In this interview, Burns describes how her team is using the Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART) Mass Spectrometer to detect the presence of fentanyl and other chemicals in samples. She discusses this technology and the current state of the opioid crisis in Maryland.

Date Created: December 19, 2018