CINCINNATI -- A new drug so deadly it can kill by just touching human skin has now prompted warnings from law enforcement for unsuspecting users.
A little-known mix of designer drugs called furanyl fentanyl just caught the Drug Enforcement Administration's attention in November when it earned a schedule one designation, signifying it has no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.
DHL workers uncovered a 36-pound batch at CVG in March, but now doctors in Georgia are warning furanyl fentanyl can cause a fatal overdose just through skin absorption, according to ABC affiliate WSB in Atlanta.
Steven Thompson, acting director of the Cincinnati Port Authority, said this drug, which is several times more potent than heroin and fentanyl, can be disguised in powders or pills.
"They don't know what they're putting into their bodies,” Thompson said. “They don't know what they're ingesting.”
WSB reports a pill factory producing furanyl fentanyl disguised as oxycodone prompted Georgia’s statewide alert on Wednesday. The state legislature also just passed a new measure outlawing the substance.
The concern is also for officer safety since the drug has caused 19 deaths in Georgia from 2016 to now, with 11 already this year. No deaths connected to this drug have been reported in the Tri-State yet.
Officials at CVG say they’ll keep a watchful eye out for the substance.
"You could have a thousand officers and it wouldn't be enough,” Thompson said. “It's something that we continue to see every single day."