Narcotics Intelligence Center warns of varying forms of fentanyl

COLUMBUS – The Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center (ONIC) has released a public safety bulletin alerting Ohioans of the various forms of fentanyl being found across the state.

Six different physical forms of fentanyl have been reported to ONIC, including powder, tablet, chalk, rock, black tar, and gum. The various forms reported in Ohio contained fentanyl primarily mixed with other substances.

“There is no quality control in the illicit drug trade, and drug trafficking cartels are constantly changing the look and composition of the drugs they’re pushing,” Ohio Governor Mike DeWine said. “Fentanyl in any form is dangerous even in extremely small amounts, so it’s important that citizens are aware of the various forms of fentanyl we’ve seen in Ohio, as well as the forms that could be coming.”

Additional forms of fentanyl that have been identified outside of Ohio include the substance molded into shapes such as pellets, popcorn, Lego-shaped blocks, puzzle pieces, and confetti tablets. While these forms have not yet been encountered in Ohio, these or similar forms have the potential of making their way into the state.

“The ONIC is sharing this information to warn Ohioans that dangerous and potentially lethal drugs are now being seen in shapes and forms beyond the previously reported counterfeit pill form that could be attractive to children,” ONIC Executive Director Cynthia Peterman said. “Be vigilant and don’t take any medication that has not been prescribed to you by a physician.”

If you believe you or someone else is in immediate danger from exposure to a drug, call 911 immediately.

DeWine signed an executive order in July 2019 creating ONIC, a specialized criminal intelligence unit to assist local law enforcement in conducting intelligence-driven drug trafficking investigations. Operated as a division of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, ONIC has locations in Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, and Cincinnati.

ONIC’s criminal intelligence analysts and computer forensic specialists provide investigative, analytical, and digital forensic support to local law enforcement agencies and drug task forces throughout Ohio.

For more information, visit the ONIC website.