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Title    Heroin, Fentanyl? Meh: Carfentanil is the Latest Killer Opioid
Date    Saturday September 03 2016, @09:35PM
Author    martyb
Topic   
from the good-samaritans-beware dept.
https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=16/09/03/1417219

takyon writes:

When customers want a longer-lasting high, heroin dealers respond by augmenting their products with drugs like carfentanil:

A powerful drug that's normally used to tranquilize elephants is being blamed for a record spike in drug overdoses in the Midwest. Officials in Ohio have declared a public health emergency, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says communities everywhere should be on alert for carfentanil. The synthetic opioid is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, the prescription painkiller that led to the death earlier this year of the pop star Prince. Fentanyl itself can be up to 50 times more deadly than heroin.

In the past few years, traffickers in illegal drugs increasingly have substituted fentanyl for heroin and other opioids. Now carfentanil [alt link] is being sold on American streets, either mixed with heroin or pressed into pills that look like prescription drugs. Many users don't realize that they're buying carfentanil. And that has deadly consequences.

"Instead of having four or five overdoses in a day, you're having these 20, 30, 40, maybe even 50 overdoses in a day," says Tom Synan, who directs the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force in Southwest Ohio. He's also the police chief in Newtown, Ohio. Synan says carfentanil turned up in Cincinnati in July. At times, the number of overdoses has overwhelmed first responders. "Their efforts are truly heroic, to be going from call to call to call," he says. "One district alone had seen 14 in one shift, so they were nonstop."

First responders and emergency room workers are being told to wear protective gloves and masks. That's because carfentanil is so potent, it can be dangerous to someone who simply touches or inhales it. This was devastatingly clear back in 2002, after a hostage rescue operation in Moscow that went wrong. To overpower Chechen terrorists who'd seized control of a theater, Russian Special Forces sprayed a chemical aerosol into the building. More than 100 hostages were overcome and died. Laboratory tests by British investigators later revealed [open, DOI: 10.1093/jat/bks078] [DX] that the aerosol included carfentanil.

In the article about the DEA adding kratom to Schedule I, I mentioned an "unprecedented" amount of "heroin" overdoses in Cincinnati. The carfentanil-cut heroin boosted the overdose tally to 174 in 6 days (225 in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Jersey):

Deaths have not spiked along with the overdose reports because police officers or emergency medical technicians are immediately administering naloxone, sometimes in more than one dose, to bring heroin users back to consciousness and start them breathing.


Original Submission

Links

  1. "takyon" - https://soylentnews.org/~takyon/
  2. "augmenting their products with drugs like carfentanil" - http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/09/02/492108992/an-even-deadlier-opioid-carfentanil-is-hitting-the-streets
  3. "carfentanil" - https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/concern_fentanyl.shtml
  4. "alt link" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carfentanil
  5. "revealed" - http://jat.oxfordjournals.org/content/36/9/647.full
  6. "DX" - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/bks078
  7. "adding kratom to Schedule I" - https://soylentnews.org/article.pl?sid=16/09/01/0248215
  8. "an "unprecedented" amount of "heroin" overdoses in Cincinnati" - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/08/29/this-is-unprecedented-174-heroin-overdoses-in-6-days-in-cincinnati/
  9. "225 in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and New Jersey" - http://www.13newsnow.com/ext/news/nation-now/225-heroin-overdoses-in-4-counties-in-4-states-in-1-week/291/nationnow/5cLUF9l4Uo08mo4aY8OkY4
  10. "Original Submission" - https://soylentnews.org/submit.pl?op=viewsub&subid=15658

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