Narcotics and Criminal Justice
CRJ 311 Forensics
Instructor: Paul Stein
December 3, 2012
Narcotics and Criminal Justice
We hear the word Narcotic and most everyone knows this means a mind altering drug of some type but it is what we do not know that can hurt us. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary tells us that a Narcotic is the following: “1a: a drug (as opium or morphine) that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain, and induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, or convulsions b: a drug (as marijuana or LSD) subject to restriction similar to that of addictive narcotics whether physiologically addictive and narcotic or not 2: something ...view middle of the document...
They may include other drugs that do not necessarily cause dependency such as marijuana because it still causes impairment to a person’s thinking, motor controls and is considered an anti-social drug by most states although as of late several states have started legalizing marijuana in small amounts for medicinal purposes. The United States also includes cocaine in the list of narcotics even though that apparently is incorrect according to Saferstein, (Saferstein 2011, p. 193). The early withdrawal symptoms can include agitation, anxiety, increased tearing, insomnia, muscle aches (similar to having the flu), a runny nose, sweating and increased yawning. For a person that has been dependent for a while symptoms may be worse and include stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The person will also probably have goose bumps on the skin and dilation of the eyes (Medline Plus).
After learning what drugs can cause as far as body discomforts we find it is also important to learn the legal issues of a drug conviction. In order for a court to prosecute a person for an illegal substance they must have test performed to confirm what substances are being used by a person or sold to others for profit (in some states if a person gives a person an illegal substance, even as a gift they are still guilty of intent to distribute and are subject to the same prosecution that a seller would receive). There are several different types of test an officer can use to test a substance or a person suspected of being under the influence (Crouch, Hersch, Cook, Frank & Walsh, 2002). One of those is called AccuSign and it is most effective detecting methamphetamines. On site testing using a Test cup for urine test for opiates such as codeine or morphine can take from hours to several days depending on what it is being tested for. The Rapid Drug Testing is called an e-cup and again uses urine that goes into a cup that seals with a lid. The lid has several different test strips and the sealed container is placed in what is called an “e-reader” that digitally screens for different substances. The Test -T –Stik is a very quick test. It takes about five minutes per stick. It uses a cup for urine and then has different types of sticks that can test for individual drugs such as
Amphetamines (AMP), Barbiturates (BAR), Benzodiazepines (BNZ), Cocaine (COC), Marijuana (THC), Methamphetamine (MET), Morphine (MOR), PCP (Phencyclidine).GC/MC or Gas Chromatography/mass spectrometry is one of the best ways that labs test verify drugs after preliminary testing for identification as well as the metabolites (a necessary substance in a metabolic process) drawn from provided samples. This machine test different body fluids such as salvia, urine, blood and even sweat to discover what drugs were in a person’s system and has the ability to identify over 400 different types of drugs by using a combination of analytical instruments that are connected to a specifically programmed...