Follow your interest in forensics: Toxicology

my name's Steven and I'm a forensic

toxicologist we analyze liquids usually

human blood for illicit drugs and other

medicines that people might have been

taken and we do it for the coroner to

determine why somebody's died or for the


if someone's suspected of being under

the influence of drugs at an accident or

at a crime I wasn't into murder

mysteries my never liked CSI I wanted to

be a garbage man I I thought to be

fascinating to go through people's

rubbish and see what was there I thought

I'd be the greatest job in the world and

then I decided I wanted to be a chef so

I got a job doing that and did that for

well seven years through high school and

university by the side of the after you

cook all day you never want to go home

and so I really liked science at school

another great year 11 and 12 chemistry

teacher and that's probably want to be

on to science things in chemistry that

you learn right at the start converting

moles per liter into grams per liter and

concentrations and even the periodic

table and the influence of different

elements we still use every day

our work generally starts with screening

for all drugs living might be there so

we screen for a whole range of illicit

drugs and then medications that people

might be taking that might have either

caused them to die or affected them

somehow and then once we've got a bit of

an idea on what's actually there we

target in on those few that are there

and find out exactly how much and once

we've got that concentration that's how

we determine that person was just taking

their medication as usual or they hadn't

taken enough and that might have caused

them to crash the car or that's far too

much that mode of kill factor

essentially we're trying to draw the

drugs out of the blood without drawing

too much of what else is there and then

using these fairly expensive machinery I

suppose to tell how much is there and

what exactly it is

our works incredibly machine based and

more and more as years of sort of gone

on has become more and more advanced so

only a few months ago we went to a new

system tests 300 drugs in about 15

minutes using just a few drops of blood

that's a big part of our job to keep

abreast of any new any new possible

methods or instrumentation that's out

there and testing that and making sure

that we're right on the cutting edge is

those instruments that every day is

something different so every day there's

a new case new circumstances it's a real

investigation so that's why I like