The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has issued a warning to the public and law enforcement about the risks of the synthetic opioid carfentanil, ABC News reports.
Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl.
Carfentanil has been linked to a significant number of overdose deaths in various parts of the country, the DEA said.
“Carfentanil is surfacing in more and more communities,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a news release. “We see it on the streets, often disguised as heroin. It is crazy dangerous.
Synthetics such as fentanyl and carfentanil can kill you. I hope our first responders – and the public – will read and heed our health and safety warning. These men and women have remarkably difficult jobs and we need them to be well and healthy.”
Surge in Carfentanil Overdoses Overwhelming Ohio First Responders and Crime LabsThe recent surge in overdoses from the potent opioid carfentanil is overwhelming first responders and crime labs in Ohio, NPR reports.
The rate of carfentanil overdoses in Ohio is averaging 20 to 25 a day.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says the drug has only been confirmed in Ohio and Kentucky. Other states are starting to test for it.
“It’s what we don’t know about this drug that scares us,” says Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, the coroner for Hamilton County, Ohio. “We don’t have any human testing data. We don’t know what the lethal level really is. There is no therapeutic level — it’s not meant for human use.”