Forensic toxicology is the area of forensic science that specialises in the analysis of drugs and poisons and the interpretation of analytical findings to support investigations involving sudden or unexplained death, driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), drug facilitated sexual assault (DFSA), criminal assault, food adulteration or attempted poisoning. The forensic toxicologist may therefore become involved in the analysis of a wide variety specimen types such as tablets, unknown powders, body tissues such as blood, urine, liver, oral fluid and hair to determine whether they contain materials that could be harmful to individuals or impair performance.
The UKIAFT is the professional body of forensic toxicologists in the United Kingdom and Ireland and was formed to provide a forum for practising forensic toxicologists.
The UKIAFT developed from a group of toxicologists representing all of the major providers of forensic toxicology services within the UK and Ireland that have been meeting regularly for a number of years to share knowledge, discuss the development of new analytical techniques and advocate a high level of professionalism amongst its members. Following the appointment of a Regulator of Forensic Sciences by the Government in 2008 practitioners decided that it was time to form a professional body of practising forensic toxicologists with the aim of developing and supporting agreed national professional standards of practice and education in forensic toxicology.
The first Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the UKIAFT was held at Glasgow University in September 2010 in association with a one and a half day scientific meeting. A photograph of the delegates attending the first UKIAFT meeting is shown below. Membership of the UKIAFT is open to all practising or trainee forensic toxicologists working in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and the Channel Islands.
The organisation holds 2-3 regional meetings each year in addition to the Annual Conference which includes the AGM and an open meeting of guest lectures, members papers and posters in addition to a student posters competition.