A couple of months ago, the powerful sedative, Carfentanil, was all over the Internet. The powerful drug was being linked to the numerous deaths from overdose in the Midwest. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has declared that this is the most potent opioid sold commercially on a global scale.
This synthetic opioid is considered 10,000 more potent than morphine, 50 times deadlier than heroin and 100 times stronger than the prescription painkiller, Fentanyl, which took the life of popular singer Prince this year.
Back in August, there were at least 92 cases of drug overdose in Cincinnati and it was believed that these were not only due to heroin but also to the deadly drug, Carfentanil. According to reports, drug dealers deliberately combine the drug with heroin or make them into pills. These drugs, in turn, are sold to buyers without disclosing the presence of the synthetic opioid.
Head of the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force in this part of Ohio, Police Chief Tom Synan of Newton, reported that the commercial opioid made its way to the county in July and the officers who responded to the calls were swarmed with cases. He said that calls were continuous and that in one shift, 14 cases came from just one district. The mere touch or inhalation of the opioid is so deadly that health practitioners who attended to the patients in emergency rooms as well as the first responders had to wear gloves and masks.
According to Synan, what used to be four to five overdose cases in a day grew to 20 to 50 overdoses. It was only a few years back when drug traffickers replaced heroin and other street drugs with Fentanyl.
How strong is Carfentanil?
This dangerous drug is not fit for human consumption and is only used in animals for sedation. These large animals include buffalos, moose and elephants. If two milligrams of the opioid is administered to a 2,000-pound African elephant, this small amount can totally knock the animal down. In regard to people, a dose of this drug which is as small as a grain of salt can kill a human being. A failed hostage rescue operation in Moscow was a proof of this. This was after more than 100 hostages died after Russian Special Forces team sprayed a chemical aerosol in a theater. It was revealed that the chemical had Carfentanil as one of the components.
The drug used to reverse the effects of opioids, Naloxone, is also used to save a person who overdoses from it. Tim Ingram, the commissioner of Hamilton County Health, also said that while it takes a longer time for a person who took the opioid to metabolize the drug in the body, this results to getting high for a longer time. Sadly, it also makes it harder for health practitioners to revive a person who gets overdosed.
Spokesman for the DEA, Russ Baer, says that Carfentanil is sold online and comes from China or is distributed by drug traffickers from Mexico. Meanwhile, Ingram expressed that there should be tougher penalties in selling Carfentanil. With the current policy about drugs, selling them in the street is not considered a violent crime.