Harm Reduction Ohio provides a factual answer

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation analyzes about 40,000 drug samples seized every year by law enforcement in Ohio. Harm Reduction Ohio runs a quarterly analysis of the BCI lab data to determine what percentage of Ohio’s total drug supply contains fentanyl.

The data show that fentanyl infestation in our state’s drug supply reached record levels in in 2020 and 2021. The increase in fentanyl explains why overdose death is at record levels in 2020 and 2021. As Harm Reduction Ohio readers know, Ohio has average levels of drug use, but an extraordinarily high levels of drug death because our drug supply is among the most dangerous in the nation. In other words, adulteration trends — not our level of drug use — is what drives our state’s overdose death epidemic.

The following charts reflect the results of 250,000+ gas chromatography-mass spectrometry lab tests conducted from January 1, 2014 through August 3, 2021. We thank BCI for providing us this important data.


A  record amount of drugs in Ohio contain only fentanyl or a fentanyl analog. This segment of the drug supply is important but poorly understood. These items are often treated as the equivalent as substitutes for heroin and other opioids. However, we know that a share of “fentanyl only” drugs in Ohio are sold (and believed to be by consumers and sellers) as cocaine, meth and benzodiazepines. Research needs to be done on what “fentanyl-only” drugs are believed to be in the marketplace.
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