Symposium on Synthetic Opioids & the Overdose Epidemic

Tackling Analytical Issues at the Bench and Beyond

October 30 – 31, 2017
Ann Arbor, MI

The opioid epidemic has been dominating the national conversation. Not only has there been an increase in the number of overdoses due to opioid use, there have also been increases in the challenges faced by the first responders, forensic drug chemists, toxicologists, and pharmacologists who deal with these dangerous substances. The opioid crisis has presented challenges to each of our communities.

The purpose of this symposium is to facilitate an exchange of ideas among members of the scientific community in federal, state, and local governments, private industry, and academia to better understand the current and future challenges faced by those dealing with the opioid epidemic.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Barry K Logan, Ph.D., F-ABFT, Forensic Science Research and Education @ the Fredric Rieders Family Foundation
  • Carl J Schmidt, M.D., M.P.H, Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office
  • István Ujváry, Ph.D., Budapest University of Technology and Economics


  • Identify trending synthetic opioids
  • Discuss concerns of first responders, law enforcement, and forensic labs regarding evidence handling, safety, and emerging threats
  • Identify poly-drug mixtures, sample matrices, and adulterants being encountered in the forensic laboratories and discuss the challenges this has posed for analysis of drug evidence
  • Share new methods development and the associated validation processes to identify new drugs and drug metabolite characterization, identification, and quantitation
  • Explore tools and methods to increase confidence and reduce time of identification of emerging drugs
  • Share novel approaches to improve analytical capacity and enhance timeliness of analytical results
  • Discuss how we can use what is currently known to be able to predict where synthetic chemists may take us next
  • Identify communication and research needed to understand drug exposure impacts and dosage levels
  • Discuss collaborative mechanisms, including public and private partnerships, that would benefit the toxicology and drug enforcement communities

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