CLEVELAND — Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson has issued a Public Health Alert to law enforcement and the public that the Cuyahoga County Regional Forensic Laboratory has seen a significant increase in designer benzodiazepines.
“It’s definitely an upward trend,” Gilson said.
Numbers show that in 2021, there were 29 cases of the pills being seized by police. In 2022, that number more than doubled to 62, and in just the first month of 2023, there have been 15.
“Whenever we see these designer drugs and classes of drugs showing up, people will sound the alert,” Gilson said.
Benzodiazepines, such as bromazolam and flubromazolam, are the latest drugs being mixed with other opioids, including fentanyl, according to Gilson.
“These drugs by themselves are a lot like the other benzodiazepines—Valium and things like that. They don’t kill people, but they sedate them. And then when you mix them in with something like fentanyl—hazardous, hazardous, dangerous situation, those are where we are seeing these drugs and yes we’re seeing more of them,” Gilson said.
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