Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $250,000)
Synthetic opioid death rates have increased dramatically over the last few years. In fact, statistics show that this increase cuts across all demographics, regions and states. Law enforcement officials state that there has been a significant surge in fentanyl related deaths, but not in fentanyl-related prescriptions, thus indicating a market of illegally-manufactured and obtained opioid substances.
In the state of Ohio alone, the percent change in opioid-related deaths increased by 107.3%. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiners Office, Regional Forensic Science Laboratory (CCRFSL) has issued a Public Health Crisis regarding the abuse of synthetic opioids and the resulting overdose cause of death.
The number of synthetic compounds introduced during the past 5 to 10 years into the underground drug market has exploded to include thousands of new psychoactive substances. With the advent of the combination of heroin with any number of other illicit substances, the CCRFSL seeks to obtain a High Resolution Accurate Mass (HRAM) Liquid Chromatograph Tandem Mass Spectrometer (LC/MS/MS) instrument in order to be able to more readily detect the growing number of these potent novel synthetic substances. Our goal is to provide law enforcement the necessary information to discover the source of the opioid supply and eliminate the abuse in Ohio.