SWGDRUG Meeting Minutes
Nelson A. Santos, Drug Enforcement Administration, Chair
Scott R. Oulton, Drug Enforcement Administration, Secretariat
Susan Ballou, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Michael Bovens, European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI)
Sylvia Burns, Forensic Science
Linda Jackson, MidAtlantic Association of Forensic Sciences
Jack Mario, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists and American Society for Testing Materials
Northwestern Association of Forensic Scientists and
Christian Matchett, Southern Association of Forensic Scientists and Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Iphigenia Naidis, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Osamu Ohtsuru, National
Research Institute of Police
Richard Paulas, Mid-Western Association of Forensic Scientists
Sandra E. Rodriguez-Cruz, Drug Enforcement Administration
Chris Tindall, Metropolitan
Eileen Waninger, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Richard Laing, Health
Robert Powers, Connecticut Department of Public Safety
Nelson Santos welcomed everyone to
Nelson Santos explained that he had addressed the CLIC Board of Directors to discuss how SWGDRUG could interact with CLIC to develop and distribute a document regarding clandestine laboratory analysis. Chris Matchett, the current president of CLIC, reported that the Board decided to participate.
CLIC would have a subgroup which will craft a document which could then be adopted by SWGDRUG as a recommendation. Chris envisions the clandestine laboratory document as an upper tier, big picture kind of document such as the Uncertainty recommendation. The subgroup of CLIC would be made up of both US and International members. The document would focus on the bench analysis of clan lab samples instead of the scene response aspects, which could be addressed later. Chris noted that it may take a year to write this document since it will be done substantially via email and conference calls. The possibility of a subgroup meeting in conjunction with the CLIC annual training conference in September was discussed.
The following topics were discussed in regards to the clandestine laboratory document:
· How would this document differ from documents SWGDRUG has already published such as sampling and methods: is the testing different, is the sampling different?
· What type of testing is needed for what level of identification?
· What wording is used for reporting for those levels of identification?
· What issues are involved with yield determinations?
· What training areas for chemists/technicians should be defined?
· What is the role of the forensic chemist in such investigations?
It was decided that a formal SWGDRUG subcommittee should not be formed for this project. The project will be led by Chris Matchett who is affiliated with both groups. He asked for input from others who are members of both groups. A general discussion ensued regarding clan lab resources internationally.
Suzanne Bell discussed the supplemental document of uncertainty examples. She expects to have some examples to be completed by the end of the meeting. The subcommittee has previously prepared text for a simple weighing example and a quantitation example with control charting. The subcommittee is anticipating including 2 examples for weighing and 2 for quantitations (one with an uncertainty budget and one with control charts).
Member Reports of SWGDRUG Presentations
Feedback was discussed from various presentations given by members. Jack Mario discussed his work with ASTM. The Validation document will be handled by ASTM in February 2009 along with the glossary. ASTM will also deal with the addition of the botanist to the “Methods of Analysis/Drug Identification” document. The “Quality Assurance/Uncertainty” document will be submitted to ASTM in 2009.
Linda Jackson discussed the goal of the subcommittee, which is to review and propose changes to our current recommendations in order to maintain their relevance and ensure consistency between sections that were written at different times. The core committee agreed to limit the changes to substantive issues. Areas noted which will be addressed include:
· The definition of contact hours in the Education and Training recommendation should be considered
· The validation section of the QA/General Procedures needs to be aligned with the Validation section
· The selection of tests in the Methods & Reports section should contain references to relevant discussions in the Validation and UOM recommendations.
Cooperation with ENFSI and Current Projects Report
Michael Bovens introduced the concept behind the ENFSI Drugs Working Group. Scott Oulton has been participating with the ENFSI group to try and minimize the duplication of efforts between their group and SWGDRUG. Current active project based subcommittees are Education & Training, Reference Material, and Quantitative Sampling. Michael reviewed all projects that have been completed in the past. The Guideline on Use of Reference Materials in Forensic Drug Analysis is ready to print for publication.
Current projects include:
· Production of ATS Drug Mass Spec Library 2008 (120 entries)
· Training on Profiling of Drugs
· Guideline on Quantitative Sampling – first draft due in 2010
· Education and Training Manual – first draft not completed
o Topics (Objectives, Modes of Instruction, References, Evaluation)
o Areas addressed are presumptive tests such as spot tests, crystal tests precipitation and anion tests, TLC, GC, GCMS, LC, LCMS, FTIR
o Areas yet to be addressed are general information regarding drugs
Subcommittee on Education and Training
Rick Paulas provided a review of our current E&T recommendations and the mission and scope of responsibilities of the original E&T subcommittee. A discussion ensued regarding a CEU process, but there was general agreement that SWGDRUG was not the body to provide it.
A personal certification program was discussed. Certification of analysts was discussed for
Discussion ensued regarding analyst certification that included the following:
· Who will fund/organize certification of analysts?
· Should SWGDRUG recommend certification?
· As an alternative to recommending certification, should SWGDRUG recommend topics that should be included in a certification program for the area of drug analysis?
Rick brought up the topic of a standardized training manual which received some support. The goals or objectives for training modules could be in the high level document with an example of a training manual such as the DEA manual as a supplemental. Iphigenia Naidis discussed how laboratories in countries just starting with new technology or setting up a laboratory need this type of information as objectives for training. Although the core committee agreed to expand the details in the training document, it may need to be done in a stepwise manner. Very detailed information would be best as a supplemental document.
Nelson Santos reviewed the goals for the next two days and adjourned for the day.
Scott Oulton reviewed statistics from the website and noted that after the Uncertainty document was published, the amount of traffic on the website did not increase. Scott will add a section for “International References” on the website to include links to documents from other organizations which we find useful. Examples are from ENFSI, Eurachem, and UNODC.
Nelson directed the subcommittees to meet during the day and be prepared to present progress tomorrow. Subcommittees are:
Education and Training: Paulas (chair), Quinn, Bovens, Massetti, Glassburg, Naidas, (Laing)
Suzanne Bell presented the progress of the uncertainty examples to the core committee while the rest of the subcommittee broke to continue working on the quantitation examples. Three examples of uncertainty of weights were given. The core committee agreed with the level of information and format. Suzanne explained that the subcommittee will send this supplemental document to a metrologist prior to sending it out to the forensic community.
Linda Jackson presented the proposed changes to the current SWGDRUG recommendations. The following changes were discussed and agreed upon in general principle:
· References to the various chapters have been added with plans for hyperlinks
· Language in the “QA – General Practice” section was removed that was duplicated in the Education and Training section and hyperlinks to the Education and Training section were added
· The validation section of the “QA – General Practice” section was removed so that the reader is directed to the Validation document.
· Language regarding qualitative uncertainty was added to the Introduction of the Methods of Analysis section
In order to release a document which adds the intra-document references and removes some duplicative text, Linda will clean up document and add the hyperlinks. Since there was not time to print and review all of these changes thoroughly, Nelson Santos approved an email vote prior to the next meeting.
Substantive changes will be reviewed and discussed at the next meeting. The main point of discussion addressed the possible confusion within the Methods of Analysis/Drug Identification section when hyphenated techniques are utilized and how the requirement for testing on a second sampling is affected. The utility of testing a second sample was addressed.
Education and Training Subcommittee
Rick Paulas presented the subcommittee’s plan for recommending subjects which should be covered in a training program for drug analysts.
The three areas of training would be Drugs of Abuse – General Knowledge, Drug Analysis and Forensic Context. An outline of topics within these three training areas would be added. This information would be added to the current Education and Training recommendation. These topics would then be fleshed out in a hyperlinked supplemental document with references. Laboratories could choose appropriate modules to utilize in their training programs.
Examples of topics to be included in the Drugs of Abuse – General Knowledge section are:
· Classification of drugs
· Drug Chemistry
· Street knowledge
· Clandestine lab chemistry / Investigation
· Drug profiling
Above topics would then be expanded as the example of Drug Chemistry:
· Nomenclature (Structural/Chemical names…)
· Structural chemistry (Isomers/analogues/homologues/derivatives…)
· Chemical properties (Structure/form/stability/solubility/extraction/derivatization…)
Topics will be expandable by utilizing hyperlinks which will allow for references to be included when available.
The subcommittee will work between meetings to complete the list of topics for discussion by the core committee. The core committee agreed with this direction and applauded the effort of the subcommittee.
Nelson Santos closed the meeting and thanked all members for
their effort. The next meeting of the
core committee is tentatively scheduled for the week of either July 6-10 or
Minutes respectfully submitted by Linda Jackson on