Dangerous Designer Drugs Circulating Tulsa Neighborhoods, Police Say
TULSA, Oklahoma - Oklahoma's law enforcement community wants you to be aware of a sudden increase of drugs circulating around Tulsa neighborhoods.
They said those drugs can be deadly to the touch.
Tulsa police are warning people that traces of so-called designer drugs can be anywhere, and because they are getting easier for criminals to make, it's harder to keep up with production.
"The hazardous nature and make-up of these chemicals have gotten a lot more deadly," said Harold Adair, criminal intelligence analyst.
Adair said the nature of drugs and drug crimes has changed considerably over the past 40 years.
"You see a lot of powder, whether it's white, off-white, gray, tan ... you don't know what that powder is until you actually get a definitive test on it," Adair said.
The Tulsa Police Department's crime lab has examined 10 cases involving Fentanyl so far this year.
Four of those were different make-ups that they haven't seen before.
"Any time that you get a new type of compound that you've never seen before sometimes it is difficult to get a reference standard to compare it to," said Tara Brians, TPD forensic lab director.
"They alter the chemical structure, they create a new analog. They are all looking for the next high," Adair said.
Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
"Some of the Fentanyls, some of the derivatives — enough that you get in a grain of salt — is enough to kill a person," Adair said.
That's why officers and scientists working in crime labs must take special precautions to handle the drugs.
"We treat them with universal precautions by using drugs and protective eye wear because any drug and all drugs can be lethal," Brians said.
And because drugs are mobile, they could be anywhere.
"In yards, trash cans, dumpsters, parking lots, playgrounds ... where ever they are at they dispose of it," Adair said. "It's just harder for the civilian population, for everyday people that come in contact with it, to know what to do and how to handle it."
If you see something questionable, say something, TPD said, because they have all of the necessary equipment to dispose of it.