Reports out of Akron, Ohio claim that drug users are mixing powerful elephant sedatives with heroin to achieve a longer-lasting high. Carfentanil, a very powerful derivative of fentanyl used to treat large animals, has been discovered in overdose victims in Ohio. Carfentanil is a potent opioid that is about 100 times as strong as fentanyl. It’s used as a general anesthetic for large animals such as elephants, and is not intended for human consumption or use. According to authorities, from July 5-14, 2016, there has been 91 overdoses and eight deaths in Akron.
Fentanyl and its derivatives are killing thousands of Americans each year. Fentanyl is so powerful that even a quarter-milligram can be fatal, and carfentanil is 100 times stronger than that, so we are facing a very serious problem. Akron Police Chief Jim Nice told the Associated Press, “what we are looking into is a bad lot of dope. Most of the deaths from heroin overdoses are coming from too much fentanyl being cut into that.”
Respiratory depression due to these opioids is what is causing so many deaths in the United States. Instead of getting high, drug users overdose and suffocate to death. Akron Deputy Fire Chief Charles Twigg reported that carfentanil did not react to Narcan, the overdose-reversal drug that first responders have been using to successful reverse overdoses. He told the Associated Press that this particular drug was less responsive to Narcan.
Unfortunately, more overdoses involving carfentanil may be expected. More action needs to be taken to prevent people from getting their hands on this more powerful form of fentanyl. In our last blog, we discussed fentanyl and the dangers of it. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, the time to get help is now. Please do not become one of the statistics. If you do not know where to turn, call Addiction Intervention Now today at (800) 208-8680.