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 2016, 6,326 of exhibits (individual drug items) were tested in 2,524 cases; most notable is the 47% increase (from 2015) in fentanyl identifications, often in combination with heroin.