Drug Weighing and Quantification (Forensic)

Since the mass of a drug can impact sentencing, Microtrace is regularly asked to weigh, re-weight, or quantify drugs in the course forensic criminal and civil investigations.  Common requests for drug weighing include the analysis of packages alleged to contain fentanyl, crack cocaine, marijuana, opiates, heroin, methamphetamines, and a range of licit drugs.

Microtrace Laboratory

At Microtrace, our experts conduct drug weighing, analyses, and testing in our purpose built, ISO 17025 accredited laboratory. Microtrace combines state of the art equipment with decades of international experience researching, analyzing, teaching, and testifying about a wide variety of licit and illicit drugs.

Our experts can weigh most drugs on our high-accuracy, high-precision balances, that span masses from kilograms to micrograms.  These balances are regularly calibrated per ISO 17025 requirements and performance checked using calibrated reference samples.

Confirmation of Drugs

The presence of actual drugs in samples may be in question.  Microtrace has the expertise and experience to identify and quantify drugs and mixtures of drugs in powders, tablets, and other forms by methods such as FTIR spectroscopy, ATR-FTIR spectroscopy, Raman spectroscoy, Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS), and Ultra Performance Liquid Chromatography High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS or UPLC-HRMS).  Microtrace can also identify the form of a drug (e.g., cocaine base vs cocaine hydrochloride), the polymorph, or the specific derivative.

Adulterants, Impurities, and Diluents

The presence, identity, and quantity of diluents, adulterants, cutting agents, or impurities in drugs can be ascertained in our laboratory through a combination of microanalytical methods.

Trace Residues of Drugs

In some circumstances, only a trace of suspected drug remains, or little more than an allegation exists. Microtrace has had great success searching for, quantifying, and definitively identifying the presence or absence of drugs from a minute sample.

Licensed and Accredited for Drug Testing

Fentanyl powder

Microtrace maintains a DEA license that permits receipt and analysis of licit and illicit drugs from all schedules (1, 2N, 3, 3N, 4, and 5), which includes all controlled substances.

Microtrace’s scientists conduct all analysis and testing in our purpose built, ISO 17025 accredited laboratory.

Technical Case Reviews

Our staff routinely review forensic reports of opposing experts in criminal and civil litigation.  Our scientist’s vast experience with a full laboratory means that our reviews span the technical approach and raw data through conclusions, interpretation, and testimony (in post review cases).

Reporting and Testimony

Microtrace provides an unparalleled range of experience and analytical tools. These range from assisting clients with sample preservation, to analysis and reporting, through litigation, should that occur. Our approach is designed to withstand the scrutiny of scientific review and litigation. Yet, our reports are written to present results in a way that is both accessible to a lay audience while being technically correct.

Drug Project Submissions

Please contact us to discuss the specific needs of your project before submitting drugs or suspected drugs. Microtrace holds a DEA license for all classes of controlled substances; when necessary, we can provide a 222 Form.

How May We Help You?

Contact us

to discuss your project in more detail.