(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio State Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Kyle Parker announced today that they will partner together to continue the fight against synthetic drugs.
Attorney General DeWine attended the Board of Pharmacy's monthly meeting today to discuss a partnership with the board in an effort to expedite the process of banning synthetic drugs as they are found.
"Despite the success of House Bill 334, which outlawed a multitude of synthetic drugs in 2012, rogue chemists continue to create new, dangerous chemicals that fall outside of Ohio's controlled substances law," said Attorney General DeWine. "I propose that, in the future, when my office recognizes outbreaks of these synthetic drugs, that we quickly engage in the administrative process with the Board of Pharmacy to ban these substances."
Ohio law states that the Ohio Board of Pharmacy can schedule a drug as a controlled substance in specific circumstances, including if the substance has a strong potential for abuse.
"We are dedicated to aggressively eradicating these illicit drug operations and will use our full authority and resources to do so," said Executive Director Parker. "I truly appreciate the efforts that Attorney General DeWine and his staff have made to assist our agency in these efforts. This is a great example of effective collaboration between agencies that really works."
Synthetic drugs are often sold in head shops, disguised as incense or potpourri. The drugs are very addictive and capable of inciting violence and extreme paranoia.
On average, 10 to 15 percent of cases submitted to BCI's laboratory for chemistry testing involve synthetic drugs. Each case could include anywhere between one and several thousand individual packets needing testing. For example, the Hamilton Police Department recently submitted nearly 52,000 packets in connection with an open synthetic drug investigation.
So far this year, the Attorney General's Office has filed eight civil lawsuits against businesses in Ashtabula, Belmont, Clark, Guernsey, and Seneca counties accused of selling synthetic drugs. BCI has also assisted local law enforcement in serving more than a dozen synthetic drug-related search warrants across the state.
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840