Controlled Substances Identification and Testing


To help enforce illegal drug laws in Rhode Island by examining evidence confiscated in drug-related crimes for the presence of controlled substances.

What we do

  • Perform laboratory identifications of chemical substances in evidence submitted by police departments.
  • Confirm illegal drug usage and drug trafficking.
  • Support federal, state, and local law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of narcotics crimes.
  • Identify trends in drug usage and emerging threats to public health.
  • Assist federal and state law enforcement agencies in the investigation of local clandestine drug laboratories.


  • Since 2008, the Controlled Substances Laboratory has maintained national accreditation to the ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standards by the ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB).
  • In 2017, 6,382 exhibits (individual drug items) were tested in 2,332 cases; most notable is the 22% increase (from 2016) in fentanyl identifications, often in combination with heroin. New drug identifications include: 4-Chloro-Alpha-PPP, 4-Chloro-Alpha-PVP, 5-EAPB, Alpha-PVT, Butyryl Fentanyl, Cyclopropyl Fentanyl, Flubromazolam, MMB-FUBINACA, Methoxyacetyl Fentanyl, Methylone, N,N-DMT, U49900, and XLR-11.