Deadly Opioid, Carfentanil, Cause of Recent Mass Overdoses

Deadly Opioid, Carfentanil, Cause of Recent Mass Overdoses
By Chiara Barnaba

In in a recent article by NPR, an opioid that is typically used as an elephant tranquilizer is allegedly to blame for the recent, mass overdoses across the Midwest. Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger and more potent than fentanyl; which is already 50 times more potent than heroin. It can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, and contact with even a minuscule amount could be enough to require medical attention in humans.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, carfentanil is an analogue of fentanyl, meaning that it has a similar chemical structure to the powerful prescription painkiller. Carfentanil is largely unregulated and is the reason why it is heroin dealer’s new favorite drug of choice. It can be used to increase the potency of the drug, stretch their supply, and have a longer-lasting high. It is so potent that its main use is to immobilize large animals, such as elephants, and is never prescribed for humans. The drug is even highly restricted for veterinarians because of how dangerous it is.

Carfentanil is colorless, odorless, and lethal. (Photo: CHALIT TUNTITHANAKUL/Shutterstock)
Carfentanil is colorless, odorless, and lethal. (Photo: CHALIT TUNTITHANAKUL/Shutterstock)

The synthetic opioid is odorless and colorless, which leads to users consuming the deadly drug and overdosing. There have been countless overdoses across Ohio, Indiana, Florida, and West Virginia recently. When heroin is laced with carfentanil, multiple doses of naloxone (Narcan) are often required to resuscitate the patient because of how long it takes the body to metabolize the drug. The deaths from overdoses have gone from 3-5 a day to 20, 30, 40 overdoses in just one day because of these highly potent synthetic opioids.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says most of the carfentanil being sold on the streets is illegally imported from China and Mexican drug traffickers. Overall, the synthetic drug is easily accessible and is finding its way rampantly across the United States. If you or a loved one is seeking help or needing treatment from any addictive substance, please feel free to reach Recovery Today USA directly at 714-375-6626.


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