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Spike in drugs containing fentanyl on Cincinnati's streets

Fentanyl is the deadliest drug in America, CDC confirms
Posted at 10:27 PM, Feb 17, 2022

CINCINNATI — Social media posts warning of a batch of street drugs spiked with potentially deadly fentanyl in Cincinnati are no hoax. One of the top agents with Cincinnati's Drug Enforcement Agency said there is an ongoing threat of traffickers mixing fentanyl into other illicit substances.

"It is extremely common," said Jason Schumacher, DEA Cincinnati's assistant special agent in charge.

Traffickers mostly working directly with Mexican cartels sell pills and street drugs with untold amounts of fentanyl mixed in. Last July, US attorneys sent a man to prison for killing three people in that manner.

On Instagram Wednesday, Harm Reduction Ohio warned followers of a batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl sold in downtown Cincinnati.

"Most of the cocaine that we seize today has traces of fentanyl in it," Schumacher said. "(It's) not only cocaine, but in methamphetamine and heroin."

Ohio's Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services found rising amounts of fentanyl, meth and cocaine around Cincinnati.

While DEA Operation Overdrive aims to cripple criminal drug networks in 34 cities including Cincinnati, Cameron Foster, an outreach coordinator for Addiction Services Council, focuses on education and getting drug test strips and Narcan to known users and their loved ones.

"We keep secrets, so our secrets harm us," Foster said of some clients he serves. "I don't want anybody to know my uncle or this person in my family is using the substance so I won't learn about it."

Newtown Police Chief Tom Synan of the Hamilton County Addiction Response Coalition said there can also be a stigma within different communities.

"If I am a meth user and someone comes to me and says, 'Hey, I want to give you Narcan and fentanyl test strips,' they're going to go, 'Wait a minute. I'm not an opioid user, I'm not a heroin user. Why would I want that,'" Synan said. "Ultimately, if we can't stop you from using drugs, let's try to save your life because if we can save your life, then we have an opportunity to get you in treatment."

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