COLUMBUS (WCMH) — In light of a recent Franklin County drug bust, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is warning about the presence of synthetic fentanyl its laboratory has detected in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties.

It’s called Para-fluorofentanyl, and BCI says law enforcement has seen a recent increase in overdoses.

The drug is:

  • Classified as a schedule I narcotic;
  • Commonly referred to as China White;
  • The drug triggers more opioid receptors than fentanyl;
  • Considered more potent than fentanyl;
  • Increasingly seen in combination with other drugs in overdoses.

BCI says it first identified Para-fluorofentanyl in lab results beginning in October 2020. Between then and Sept. 2021, BCI says it has identified 553 new items containing the synthetic drug.

BCI says its laboratory has detected the following qualities of the drug:

  • Color: White, off-white, tan, gray, brown, green, pink, purple, yellow, and blue (tablets)
  • Form: Powder, residues, liquid from syringes, and blue tablets (including those marked M<>30)
  • Adulterants: Found primarily in combination with Fentanyl. Also found in combination with other fentanyl pharmacophores, heroin, cocaine, tramadol, and 3-Cl-PCP. Other substances that are sometimes present include diphenhydramine, mannitol, xylazine, and quinine.

BCI is warning first responders to wear personal protective equipment when handling Para-fluorofentanyl.