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 current ISO/IEC 17025 standards This laboratory was the first in New England to transition to the new and more rigorous ISO/IEC 17025:2017 standards.
  • In 2018, 8,444 individual drug items were tested in 2,693 cases. Of note is the 24% increase (from 2017) in fentanyl identifications, often in combination with heroin, a 73% increase in Methamphetamine identifications, and increasing numbers of counterfeit pill seizures. New drug identifications include: Valeryl Fentanyl, 3-Methoxy PCP, Flualprazolam, Alpha-PHPP.