Toxicology, Drugs and Poisons

Since we began Celebrity Diagnosis, the field of toxicology has come up again and again (for example: Michael Jackson, David Carradine, Danny Gans) in the medico-legal investigation of death. Toxicology refers to laboratory tests that are done to determine the type and approximate amount of legal and illegal drugs a person has taken or been given and is usually performed on blood samples and urine. We have prepared a Resounding Health casebook (below) to provide more information. If you would like to learn more about this field, contact the laboratory medicine or clinical pathology department of your local university hospital which usually has a training program in this branch of medicine.

Please note that information on and is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your doctor. It should not to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.

Map of U.S. Poison Control Centers

For poison emergencies call 1-800-222-1222


Mark Boguski, M.D., Ph.D. is on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and is a member of the Society for Participatory Medicine, "a movement in which networked patients shift from being mere passengers to responsible drivers of their health" and in which professional health care providers encourage "empowered patients" and value them as full partners in managing their health and wellness.

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