The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors is issuing an urgent public alert regarding the dangers posed by drugs currently circulating Oklahoma’s streets and neighborhoods as a result of the current opioid crisis.
“The threat is unprecedented,” warns society President Ray Wickenheiser. “Some of the clandestine substances being sold or made accessible have formulations that are so toxic that it’s better to consider them poison.”
The street drugs the public may be exposed to can be so dangerous that even trace amounts can be fatal when ingested, inhaled or even absorbed through the skin. Carfentanil, a drug 100 times more lethal than fentanyl and 10,000 times more lethal than morphine, is used to tranquilize elephants, yet is now available on the streets. A lethal dose is approximately 20 micrograms, which is about the size of a grain of salt. The problem is so serious that it requires scientists working in crime laboratories across the United States to take additional special precautions to protect their own safety.
The group, though the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, warns members of the public to pay close attention in order to recognize and avoid dangerous drug paraphernalia. Drugs seen in America’s crime laboratories are often packaged, transported, and used with common household items.
Items to be avoided include:
- Pills, tablets, or unidentified candy
- Powders, especially those that are white or gray in color
- Glassine (wax paper) packets, small knotted plastic bag corners or ziplock bags
- Clear capsules that contain powder
- Rubber balloons or condoms
- Small, brightly colored packages
- Syringes or spoons
- Stickers or labels that seem out of place (potent drugs may be on the adhesive side)