SWGDRUG Meeting Minutes

Portland, OR

June 7-9, 2016



Core Committee Members (Present)

Scott R. Oulton, Chair, Drug Enforcement Administration

Sandra E. Rodriguez-Cruz, Secretariat, Drug Enforcement Administration

Michael Bovens, European Network of Forensic Science Institutes

Sylvia Burns, Key Forensic Services, LTD, England

Conor Crean, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Garth Glassburg, American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors

Richard Laing, Health Canada

Adriano Maldaner, Iberoamerican Academy of Criminalistics and Forensic Studies

Christian Matchett, Southern Association of Forensic Scientists

Richard Paulas, Midwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

Eric Person, California State University, Fresno

Catherine Quinn, Victoria Forensic Science Centre, Australia

Pamela Reynolds, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Tiffany Ribadeneyra, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists

Sandra B. Sachs, California Association of Criminalists

Roger Schneider, Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists

Angeline Yap, Asian Forensic Sciences Network


Core Committee Members (Not Present)

Karen Phinney, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Udo Zerell, Bundeskriminalamt, Germany



Juli Allen Cruciotti, Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists

Rainer Dahlenburg, Bundeskriminalamt, Germany

Jack Mario, Northeastern Association of Forensic Scientists

Agnes D. Winokur, Note Taker, Drug Enforcement Administration and American Society for Testing Materials



Tuesday, June 7, 2016


Welcome and Opening Remarks


·         SWGDRUG Chair Scott Oulton opened the meeting by welcoming all core committee members.  He expressed his gratitude to Secretariat Sandra Rodriguez-Cruz for coordinating the meeting and making all the travel arrangements for the attendees. Mr. Oulton also introduced meeting guests Jack Mario, Agnes Winokur, Juli Cruciotti, and Rainer Dahlenburg.


·         Mr. Oulton discussed SWGDRUG core committee vacancies.  Multiple applications were reviewed for the MAAFS vacancy (vice Linda Jackson).  Ms. Julie Cruciotti (Virginia Department of Forensic Science – Northern Laboratory) was selected to attend this meeting as guest.   


·         Candidates are still needed to fill the faculty and toxicology vacancies.


·         Mr. Oulton also announced that this would be the last meeting for members Pamela Reynolds and Richard Paulas.  Two additional vacancies (FBI and MAFS) will result.


·         Mr. Oulton also discussed the possibility of a 20-year anniversary SWGDRUG reunion for 2017.  Mr. Paulas agreed to serve as the point of contact and organizer for a potential 20-year reunion.


·         Mr. Oulton reiterated SWGDRUG’s current mission of supporting the developments of standards and providing the seized drugs community with essential resources.  He is optimistic that funding from DEA will continue for yearly SWGDRUG meetings.


·         Mr. Oulton discussed goals and expectations for the week.


o   Discussion and adjudication of SD-6 public comments


o   Development of qualitative method validation document



Update from NCFS and OSAC – Scott Oulton


·         Mr. Oulton provided information about recent developments within the National Commission on Forensic Science and the Organization of Scientific Area Committees.


Update from ASTM and SWGDRUG Recommendation Harmonization – Scott Oulton and Agnes Winokur


·         Mr. Oulton discussed the importance of keeping SWGDRUG Recommendations harmonized with ASTM and OSAC standards.  Mr. Oulton provided an update and overview of the status of ASTM E2329, which was the first document posted on the OSAC Registry of Standards.  This standard is currently undergoing revision.


ENFSI-DWG Update – Michael Bovens


·         Dr. Bovens discussed current ENFSI-DWG projects, including one involving a platform for the sharing of identification data for new psychoactive substances (NPS).   


Mr. Oulton also discussed the work currently being done at NIST for validation of the SWGDURG mass spectral library.


Mr. Bovens provided an update on the ENFSI-DWG Guidelines on Sampling Illicit Drugs for Quantitative Analysis.  The booklet and sampling calculator spreadsheet have been published and are currently available for download from the ENFSI Website (http://www.enfsi.eu/sites/default/files/documents/external_publications/guidelines_quant_sampling_dwg_printing_vf4.pdf and http://www.enfsi.eu/documents/other-publications).


·         ENFSI published a Guideline for Evaluative Reporting in Forensic Science (http://www.enfsi.eu/sites/default/files/documents/external_publications/m1_guideline.pdf). Technical Reports like drug analysis are not covered. However, this guideline is still discussed very contrarily within ENFSI and the Working Groups, especially the link between verbal description and numbers of likelihood ratios.

·         Dr. Bovens also discussed recent activities of the Chemometrics subcommittee within ENFSI-DWG.  This subcommittee was recently formed to address and provide guidance on how to process a dataset through multivariate data analysis in order to answer a relevant forensic question.  The subcommittee was created in May of 2015 and hopes to produce a guideline by end of 2019.


AFSN Update – Angeline Yap


·         Dr. Yap presented an overview of the recent AFSN workshops and recent collaborative projects between AFSN, UNODC, and HSA.  Dr. Yap presented an overview of the abused-drug market throughout Asia and trends observed during 2013-2015.


·         Dr. Yap also presented updates on synthetic cannabinoids and other NPS.  She also discussed the impact of recent legislative measures throughout the region. 


·         Dr. Yap provided results from a survey evaluating the frequency of use of the NIST library, SWGDRUG monographs, in-house reference materials, and the UNODC Early Warning Advisory.  The survey demonstrated a need for training and increased communication on emerging NPS.


Health Canada Update – Richard Laing


·         Mr. Laing provided an update on laboratory efforts to harmonize analysis methods and their validation.  He also discussed the challenges in obtaining reference materials for synthetic cathinones and laboratory challenges during the analysis of substances like W-18.


·         He also provided an overview of the drug market in Canada and emphasized the increase in fentanyl and related compounds.  He also discussed some of the challenges in obtaining Narcan kits in Canada for non-personal use.


Qualitative Method Validation Sub-committee Update – Catherine Quinn


·         Ms. Quinn provided an update and goals for the subcommittee during this meeting.  Various aspects of validation have been discussed and the subcommittee will be working on consensus recommendations and parameters to use in the examples.  The subcommittee is also working in the introduction section and how it would be incorporated into SWGDRUG recommendations.


Uncertainty Sub-Committee Update – Angeline Yap


·         Dr. Yap provided an overview of the SD-6 revisions that occurred during January 2016 and the comments received during the recent public comment period.  One of the comments received was discussed with the core committee members.  The subcommittee will continue to work on addressing public comments, making editorial changes to some of the document language, and providing clarifications within the examples.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016


·         Dr. Sandra Rodriguez-Cruz provided a summary on error rates associated with reported drug identifications.  She discussed analytical schemes and the use of proficiency test data to estimate response rates.  She also presented the use of Bayesian assessment to examine probability statements regarding the confidence and uncertainty associated with qualitative analysis (identifications).


·         Core committee members discussed applications of the approach as part of the method validation process.


·         Subcommittee break-out sessions


Thursday, June 9, 2016


New Members


·         After discussion with core committee members, Mr. Oulton appointed Ms. Winokur as a new member of SWGDRUG.


ASTM E2329-14 Revisions


·         Dr. Rodriguez-Cruz presented the recent revisions to ASTM E2329-14.  Members discussed changes to the document, emphasizing that focus should be placed on the analytical scheme.


·         Subcommittee break-out sessions


Uncertainty Subcommittee Update


·         Dr. Yap presented the revisions incorporated into SD-6.  Richard Paulas made a motion for Supplemental Document SD-6, to be published on the SWGDRUG website, pending minor editorial corrections.  Pamela Reynolds seconded the motion.  After a brief discussion, the motion passed unanimously with all voting members participating.  Dr. Yap will finalize the document and send it to Scott Oulton.  Core committee members will have one more opportunity to review the document prior to posting.


·         Tiffany Ribadeneyra provided an overview and discussed the SD-6 comment adjudication document.


Qualitative Method Validation Sub-committee update


·         Catherine Quinn summarized progress on the qualitative method validation document.  The subcommittee worked separately as two groups, one dedicated to explaining the relationship between analytical scheme and validated methods.  The other group is concentrating on the examples for the document.  Three examples are being developed:  GC-MS, color test, and IR.  Both groups are developing frequently asked questions that can be addressed in the document.  The body of the document will reflect answers to those questions. 


Meeting Close-out


·         Mr. Oulton thanked everyone for their hard work during the week and welcomed Ms. Winokur to SWGDRUG.  He acknowledged the participation of the other guests and requested everyone’s assistance in continuing to work on these documents.  He stated the next meeting will most likely be scheduled for June 2017.




Minutes respectfully submitted by Agnes D. Winokur.