OHIO — Methamphetamine, cocaine, buprenorphine and fentanyl drug use are on the rise throughout the Midwest, including in Ohio, according to data collected by Michigan-based oral fluid testing lab, Forensic Fluids Laboratories.
Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Forensic Fluids Laboratories (FFL) collected data in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio from 2014-2018. The study includes oral fluid drug testing results that FFL has been contracted to perform by state operated agencies, including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Indiana Department of Child Services and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
“Oral fluid drug testing is a non-invasive analysis practiced by government and law enforcement agencies to accurately and efficiently assess drug use,” said Bridget Lorenz Lemberg, toxicologist and Laboratory Director of Forensic Fluids Laboratories. “It yields the same result as taking a blood sample without needing to use a needle, and is easier to administer and more accurate than urine testing.”
Some Ohio counties, such as Montgomery, Delaware and Wood, have positive cocaine rates more than double that of areas in Guernsey, Wayne and Muskingum. Many counties show rates of cocaine positives across all years examined by FFL.
Fentanyl use increased in areas surrounding Ohio’s more urban counties, especially in the northeast and southwest parts of the state. Fentanyl is an opioid commonly used for pain management in cancer patients. Fentanyl is considered one of the most potent opioid pain relievers prescribed, as it is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.
“The data we collected through oral fluid testing is a strong indicator of the drug usage trends in both rural and urban counties throughout the Midwest,” Lorenz Lemberg said. “By providing a deeper insight of drug use from state-to-state, we hope our data becomes a beneficial resource for local governing officials and law enforcement agencies as they work to address concerns in their communities.”
About Forensic Fluids Laboratories: Forensic Fluids Laboratories was founded in 2005 by Bridget Lorenz Lemberg, Lab Director and toxicologist, who leads her team as a pioneer in the development of oral fluid testing techniques in the United States. She offers more than 30 years of experience in toxicology and pharmacology including court testimony as an expert witness. In 2001, she worked for one of the first oral fluid drug testing labs, developing LC/MS/MS methods for oral fluid. Lorenz Lemberg and her team’s ability to provide timely and accurate results has enabled the company to grow from one to 86 employees, and is located in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Elkhart Indiana.
Photo courtesy Chris McGuire Photography
Methamphetamine, cocaine, buprenorphine and fentanyl drug use are on the rise throughout the Midwest, including in Ohio, according to data collected by Michigan-based oral fluid testing lab, Forensic Fluids Laboratories.