CLEVELAND — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said there has been an increased prevalence in Ohio of nitazene, a group of synthetic opioids that can be up to 40 times more potent than fentanyl, referred to as “Frankenstein opioids."
“Frankenstein opioids are even more lethal than the drugs already responsible for so many overdose deaths,” Yost said. “Law enforcement and the public need to pay attention to these emerging hazards.”
Nitazene compounds were originally synthesized in the 1950s to research their analgesic effects. They are not medically approved anywhere in the world and are currently being made in illegal drug labs.
These synthetic opioids are being added to less dangerous drugs.
"We've even seen these guys [nitazene] being added to marijuana. So you have to be very, very cautious. And I would encourage people that if you been thinking this is a time to get straight, this is the time to put down the drug habit. It's getting more dangerous every day," Yost said.
Yost said in the first quarter of 2022, BCI reported 143 nitazene cases in Ohio, up from 27 cases in the same quarter of 2021.
Authorities said additional doses of naloxone may be required to reverse overdoses involving nitazene.
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