Law enforcement in northern Ohio is warning police agencies throughout the state about two substances dealers are using to lace heroin and fentanyl -- a powder called "Rizzy" and an analgesic substance called Bromadol.
Rizzy is believed to cause flesh to rot and Bromadol is so powerful that specific side effects are not known.
"Unfortunately, we find out after the fact, after somebody uses," Capt. Mike Brem, with the Montgomery County Sheriff's RANGE Task Force, told News Center 7's Kate Bartley on Wednesday. "A lot of times, unfortunately, that's the way we find out" about substances used to "cut" or "stretch" narcotics.
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"There's not a recovery agent such as Narcan that's going to bring you back from this kind of thing," Brem said.
Rizzy, supposedly used to dye flower petals, causes what appear to be skin necrosis to the drug injection area. This determination was made after the arrest of a 25-year-old man by police in Alliance, Ohio, in early January. The man, who said he was a heroin addict, said his injuries were caused by injecting heroin laced with Rizzy.
Law enforcement agencies have been receiving safety bulletins because of uncertainty about the powder's true nature because those agencies have found research that suggests Rizzy is not used to dye flower petals. Additionally, officials with a florist company told a reporter they had no knowledge of a product known as Rizzy being used in the floral industry.
A north central Ohio drug enforcement unit called METRICH recently purchased Bromadol, an analgesic similar to an opioid, dropped it onto a Tylenol pill and found it to be extremely hazardous.
According to the RANGE task force and the METRICH unit, various studies have shown that Bromadol, which has not been tested on humans, is estimated to be 30 to 10,000 times as potent as morphine, depending on he formulation.
Law enforcement personnel are being encouraged to wear protective gloves on all searches, to avoid contact with Bromadol, because the chemical can be absorbed through the skin.
Brem said if Bromadol comes to Dayton, it may be cut a couple of times before it gets here and the drug trafficker who's in the Dayton area can cut that as well.
To compound the drug problem with Rizzy and Bromadol, Brem said law enforcement also is seeing the sale of cocaine laced with fentanyl.
"Unfortunately," Brem said, "the addiction part of this disease is so strongly driven that you don't necessarily think just because it's going to eat some of my flesh that i'm not going to do it today."