Forensic Toxicology; a Probe into the Future


Published: 2022-04-15

Page: 102-115

Olawale Otitoju *

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Environmental Research and Pollution Control Unit, Federal University Wukari, Nigeria.

Ebenezer Morayo Ale

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Environmental Research and Pollution Control Unit, Federal University Wukari, Nigeria.

Ojochemi Ejeh Yakubu

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Environmental Research and Pollution Control Unit, Federal University Wukari, Nigeria.

Ozioma Prince Emmanuel

Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Environmental Research and Pollution Control Unit, Federal University Wukari, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Forensic toxicology is a field of science that deals with the detection, identification and isolation of drugs, chemicals and other xenobiotics in the biological specimens as well as interpreting the results for medical and other legal investigations. This field encompasses toxicologists and other experts in disciplines such as biochemistry, pharmacology, analytical and clinical chemistry and biology for the purpose of investigating death, drug abuse and poisoning medically and legally. Forensic toxicology has found application majorly in postmortem investigations, human performance, doping control and work place drug testing. Forensic analyses can be broadly divided into two categories: presumptive tests which do not specifically identify the compound present in the sample, but only indicate the type of substance present through signs such as colour change and; confirmatory tests that specifically identifies the substance. Confirmatory tests include chromatography techniques as well as combination of chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques. This article reviews the various biological specimens and analytical techniques used for qualitative and quantitative detection and identification of drugs of abuse, poisons and other xenobiotics and also recommends improvement in the present state of art and evolution of new innovations that can foster global use of forensic toxicology in the nearest future.

Keywords: Toxicology, xenobiotics, chromatography, specimen, post-mortem, ante-mortem, drug abuse

How to Cite

Otitoju, O., Morayo Ale, E., Yakubu, O. E., & Emmanuel, O. P. (2022). Forensic Toxicology; a Probe into the Future. Asian Journal of Research in Biosciences, 4(2), 102–115. Retrieved from


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