Ohio police send out a drug warning about 'Rizzy' after skin on man is eaten away

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jan 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-17 15:34:11-05

Alliance (Ohio) police have sent a warning to other area law enforcement agencies after the skin on a man's arms was eaten away, possibly as a result of injecting a new heroin combination.

Graphic pictures obtained by Cleveland-based WEWS show black marks and skin peeled off both arms of a 25-year-old man.

"It's very, very disturbing," said Alliance Police Sgt. Michael Yarian.

Narcotics officers said they arrested a heroin addict last week and noticed the horrific injuries.

He told officers he bought heroin laced with Rizzy powder in Canton and injected it into his arms.

A website provides the following the description of Rizzy: Rizzy powder is a flower centerpiece maker. For white flower centerpiece, add 1/2 teaspoon to water in vase. Cut the end off of a flower so that it has a fresh surface. Allow several hours for Rizzy to be incorporated into the petals of the flower.

It also includes a disclaimer, "Toxic. Do not ingest."

If heroin was laced with the powder, Yarian fears it could become the latest, dangerous drug trend.

"Now we got skin dying," he said. "It's so new that we're not even sure what all the dangers are yet."

The alert sent to several police department mentions Rizzy is used by florists to dye rose petals.

However, Lynn Forbes who works at Canton Wholesale Floral, said she has never seen it in the industry.

"I've done this my whole life. I am sure this is not in any of your local florists and I don't think any of the local florists have ever heard of the product," Forbes said.

WEWS contacted a number for Rizzy. A man said, "It's not recommended for anything other than what the label says," and then declined to answer any other questions.

The man, who had skin eaten away, was charged with a misdemeanor for possessing drug abuse instruments.

Police are trying to figure who provided the drugs. In the meantime, Sgt. Yarian issued a warning  because of the disturbing case.

"If you see something that you don't recognize or you don't know what it is, do not touch it because it could be deadly."