Ohio’s crime lab stats mirror national street opioid trends

Published 8:06 am Monday, December 11, 2017

‘Unprecedented’ threat according to forensics group

COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office has released preliminary numbers of drug cases that the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) has received to date in 2017.

This follows the recent release by the American Society of Crime Laboratory (ASCLD) Directors about the dangers of opioids and the severity of the opioid issue nationwide.

“We continue to see more cases of fentanyl, fentanyl-related compounds, and carfentanil in our crime lab, and the drug submissions by law enforcement are increasingly more complex and deadly,” said DeWine.

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So far in 2017, the number of confirmed carfentanil submissions has nearly quadrupled.  There has been a 380 percent increase in submissions of confirmed carfentanil compared to all of 2016. Additionally, there has been a 46 percent increase in fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds submitted so far this year from last year. While heroin submissions are down versus 2016, the number of confirmed heroin submissions in 2017 (3,890) is still greater than when DeWine was elected in 2010 (2,378).

ASCLD recently issued an urgent public alert recently regarding the dangers posed by drugs currently circulating America’s streets and neighborhoods due to the ongoing opioid crisis.

ASCLD issued the following national data to highlight the issue that crime labs face across the country (94 percent of which report data to ASCLD):

• In the first six months of 2017, there was a 19 percent increase in opioid submissions to crime labs as compared to all of 2016.

• In 2016, there were over 22 different types of fentanyl identified in crime labs.

• 2017 has seen a 54 percent increase in fentanyl cases submitted to crime labs.

• Between 2012 and 2016, laboratories have witnessed a 6000 percent increase in fentanyl cases. This increase corresponds directly with the overdose deaths being seen nationwide.

• Nationwide, crime labs are seeing testing take longer than in years past due to the number of cases submitted, the complexity of the cases and compounds submitted, and the dangerous nature of drugs submitted, such as fentanyl and carfentanil.