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Drugs of abuse

Drugs of abuse


The Illicit drugs market is constantly changing and so to are drugs of abuse. The traditional drugs like heroin, cocaine, amphetamine, ‘ecstasy’ and cannabis now have stiff competition from a whole host of ‘designer’ drugs (e.g. mephedrone), which were once so called ‘legal highs’ and readily available on the internet , but have now been generically controlled under recent government modifications to the Misuse of Drugs Act. 


Changes in drugs of abuse

Traditional drugs themselves have been subject to change, with sharp decreases in the purity of powdered drugs sold at street level. For example, cocaine powder, which a few years ago may have been sold on the street at a purity of 70% may now have a purity as low as 10% and be highly adulterated with other non-controlled drugs. 

Cannabis production and cultivation

Even long established processes like the domestic indoor cultivation of cannabis, using small and often rather amateurish set-ups, have been superseded by organised crime groups, who have turned cannabis cultivation into a uniform, highly organised, commercial process, involving cannabis factories at multiple locations generating very substantial profits, which are often linked to associated crimes such as money laundering. Although the small domestic growers still remain, in the current drugs climate, their efforts to establish their own domestic supply of cannabis may often be misinterpreted as commercial cultivation.

The requirement for a drugs of abuse expert

Therefore, when selecting a forensic defence expert to comment on the evidence presented by the prosecution it is crucial to choose one who has current detailed knowledge both of today’s drugs markets and production processes, but also (given the length of time that some cases take to go through the legal process) has knowledge of historical drugs markets and productions too.


Forensic Equity’s drugs experts are all currently actively working in the field of forensic drugs for both the prosecution and the defence and are therefore uniquely placed to provide the best possible expert witness reports for your clients.


Read more about our forensic scientists drug expertise:



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