AG issues warning about synthetic opioid in Ohio

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syringes and needles laying on table

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is urging caution as a lethal synthetic opioid, known as Carfentanil, has reemerged in several Ohio drug cases; an increase which could foreshadow a rise in overdoses.

The warning comes after multiple recent identifications of carfentanil have been seen in the state. The Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s drug chemistry lab confirmed the presence of carfentanil in three separate drug cases submitted in August by Trumbull County law enforcement agency. In one of the cases, the substance was found at the scene of an overdose.

The Central Ohio Major Drug Interdiction Task Force, operating under the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, conducted a drug raid last week that seized 3 kilograms of carfentanil off Franklin County streets prior to dispersal. The Columbus Division of Police’s drug laboratory analyzed another case this month that involved the overdose of a minor where carfentanil was found. Each of these cases remains under investigation.

Before the recent uptick, BCI testing had only confirmed two cases of carfentanil this year, five cases in all of 2022. Although law enforcement believes the cases are not connected, the trend suggests a re-emergence of the drug.

Carfentanil is extremely lethal, about 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. It often looks like a white, brown, tan or beige powdery substance.

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