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Carfentanil is on its way to Kansas City

Published On: 11-25-2016 in Category: addiction, drug abuse, heroin


Carfentanil is the most potent commercial opioid in the world, as per the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). The deadly drug which has been responsible for a spate of overdoses in Ohio recently is now heading toward Kansas City, said the DEA. Lately, Ohio has witnessed a surge in the number of overdose-related emergency room visits. Authorities in Cincinnati expressed serious concerns over nearly 300 overdose cases, which also included 174 cases within the six-day period, since August this year. Moreover, eight persons reportedly succumbed to the drug reports in Hamilton County around the same period. In view of the crisis, law enforcement agencies in Hamilton County has urged the State of Ohio to declare a public health emergency.

Such dire occurrences have created a sense of fear among authorities in other neighboring counties, particularly Missouri. “I haven’t seen drugs that pose this much of a danger to the public,” said Troy Derby, assistant special agent in charge at the Kansas City DEA. “It’s just a matter of time before we see carfentanil contained in heroin, distributed on the streets of Kansas City,” he added.

Looking at the ever-growing crisis of heroin abuse in Kansas City, the DEA officials are now suspecting that carfentanil has been setting a foothold in the area over the last few months. As per the DEA officials, illicit drug manufacturers are pumping carfentanil-laced heroin from China and Mexico into different cities in Ohio, which may soon find its way into Kansas City. Mixing heroin with carfentanil not only amplifies the “high” in the user, but also helps generate huge profit. However, users don’t have the least idea that they are being sold a drug containing a dangerous fentanyl product.

What makes carfentanil so dangerous?

Carfentanil is an analog of fentanyl with an analgesic potency 10,000 times that of morphine and is used to tranquilize large animals such as elephants. While fentanyl, which is chemically identical to carfentanil, is 50 times stronger than heroin, carfentanil is approximately 100 times deadlier than fentanyl. In fact, it only takes two milligrams of the drug to knock out a large land mammal, such as an African elephant.

Since, heroin mixed with carfentanil is highly resistant to overdose reversal treatments such as Narcan, or Naloxone, overdose victims may need more than a single dose of the drug or may need to be placed on an IV to reverse the dangerous effects of carfentanil.

The fact that carfentanil is transdermal, which implies that it can be absorbed through the skin, makes it even more dangerous as anybody could overdose by merely touching or accidentally inhaling it. “Two milligrams of carfentanil will kill 99 percent of the American population,” according to Washington D.C. DEA.

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