Summit County police chief warns of new opioids ‘40X stronger than fentanyl’

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:05 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 4:09 PM EDT
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SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - There are new drugs on the streets of Ohio and it’s killing people at an alarming rate, said officials.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said nitazens, a group of dangerous synthetic opioids, can be up to 40 times more potent than fentanyl.

“This is a risk that is present for all of us,” said Bath Township Police Chief Vito Sinopoli.

Chief Sinopoli said two victims overdosed in his township on nitazenes this year.

“A female was located in her vehicle in a Medina Road business,” said Chief Sinopoli. “She was unresponsive when officers first arrived on scene. Thankfully, in this case the woman woke up and survived. However many times, people are dying.”

According to Chief Sinopoli, first responders are also at risk.

“Our officers and first responders with our medics and firemen who show up on scene, don’t know what they’re going to be exposed to,” said Chief Sinopoli. “Although they take as many precautions as they can, many times it’s not enough.”

Chief Sinopoli also said they sent eight additional drug cases to the lab at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) to check to see if they contained nitazenes.