Operations » Training » Forensic Chemist Training

The DEA Training Academy and the Office of Forensic Sciences cooperate to provide the technical training which enables newly hired scientists to become DEA forensic chemists. The 17-week program combines hands-on training in the laboratory with academic instruction in the classroom. The laboratory based training provides students with experience in the analysis of unknown powders, liquids, and plant materials using the most advanced physical, chemical, and instrumental techniques available. These practical experiences are augmented with academic instruction in statistics, ethics, chain of custody, case file preparation, laboratory operations, and laboratory accreditation requirements.  Students also explore the chemistry of clandestine drug syntheses by conducting a detailed, mechanistic examination of various synthetic methods.  This training enables students to recognize route specific by-products and generate production estimates. Additional instruction and practical exercises provide the students with training in law, contemporary legal issues, and expert testimony. Upon graduation, the new Forensic Chemist is qualified to conduct the forensic analysis of drug evidence submitted to DEA laboratories.


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