Ohio Attorney General warns ‘Frankenstein opioids’ are much more dangerous than fentanyl

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 10:09 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The Ohio Attorney General is warning man-made drugs called “Frankenstein opioids” can be up to 40 times more potent than fentanyl.

The opioid epidemic continues here in Ohio, and local coroners and medical examiners told 19 Investigates they’ve seen an increase in overdose deaths over the last few years.

So this warning could save lives.

Officials said the opioids are made in secret labs around the world and they are not approved for medical use.

Nitazenes, which are being called “Frankenstein opioids,” are often found in other illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin, and meth.

And users don’t even know it, which raises the risk of accidental overdoses.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost warned labs are seeing this powerful synthetic opioid more and more across the state.

BCI reported 143 nitazene cases in Ohio in the first quarter of 2022.

That’s up from 27 cases in the same time period of 2021, a more than 400% increase.

19 Investigates found in northeast Ohio, Richland, Summit and Ashtabula are the counties seeing “Frankenstein opioids” the most.

More doses of Narcan may be needed to reverse overdoses involving these opioids.

The attorney general’s office said first responders should use the right equipment to protect themselves when they handle these drugs.

These drug compounds were created in the 1950s as a possible pain-relief medication.

Opioids, mostly synthetic, continue to be the main cause of drug overdose deaths, according to the CDC.

This undated photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office shows fentanyl...
This undated photo provided by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office shows fentanyl pills. Authorities say they've arrested Ryan Gaston, a man in a Cleveland suburb after seizing more than 900 fentanyl pills marked liked tablets of the less-potent opiate oxycodone. The Cuyahoga County medical examiner said that lookalike pills were likely to blame for some of the county's 19 fentanyl-related overdose deaths in January 2016. (Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office via AP)(AP)

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