Controlled Substance


The Controlled Substances (CS) Unit analyzes evidence for the presence or absence of controlled substances.   Controlled substances specifically refer to those compounds listed under the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, Chapter 961 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  Chapter 961 covers hundreds of different compounds including commonly seen drugs such as methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine.  The CS Unit additionally assists the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) in assessing, processing and collecting evidence at clandestine drug laboratories.  


Controlled substances may be in many forms.  Typical samples include powders, plant materials, liquids and tablets.   Other sample types may include various drug paraphernalia, paper material, and food substances.    


The CS Unit provides a qualitative analysis using a combination of chemical and instrumental tests to identify compounds.  Chemical tests include color tests and thin layer chromatography.  Instrumental tests include infrared spectroscopy (IR), gas chromatography (GC), gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GCMS), and gas chromatography/infrared spectroscopy (GCIR).   The analytical scheme for identification of controlled substances includes comparison with verified reference materials.   The CS Unit does not provide a quantitative analysis for the amount of controlled substance present.



Services Provided




The CS Unit may provide analysis for other drug related compounds and tear gases which are not controlled by Chapter 961. 



Upon request, the CS Unit may provide training for specific areas related to controlled substances such as evidence packaging, safety, and field tests.


Safe Environment for Field Testing

If your agency does not have a safe environment for field testing suspected fentanyl samples, schedule an appointment at the crime laboratory in your service area to safely test samples.  For more information please refer to the below fentanyl safety and fentanyl field testing documents. 



Controlled Substance Submission GuidelinesRev. 10/2023

Controlled Substance FAQs

Fentanyl Field Testing at the Crime Laboratory

Fentanyl Safety Document

Hemp Color Test Document


Contact Information 

For questions regarding Controlled Substances, refer to the contact information for the lab in your service area.