More Deadly Than Fentanyl, an Elephant Tranquilizer Drug Poses a Threat in Kentucky
A drug that is more potent than Fentanyl? Sounds impossible however it does exist and has popped up in the far eastern reaches of the Commonwealth.
Carfentanil: What is it and why is it more fatal than Fentanyl?
This drug is the stronger cousin, if you will, of the well-known opiate Fentanyl. One dose, measuring the same proportion of a single grain of salt, is strong enough to kill an animal the size of a grizzly bear. Which on average weighs in at around 600 pounds, just in case you were curious. Carfentanil has a potency 10,000 of that of morphine and 4,000 times the potency of heroin. In some animal studies, it is also around 20- 100 times more potent than its analog drug Fentanyl.
Why does this drug exist?
The primary purpose of this drug is to be used as an analgesic to be used in veterinary medicine on very large animals. Carfentanil is typically found in tranquilizer darts used to anesthetize animals such as elephants and rhinos. Tranquilizers help those in the business of conservation and rehabilitation of animals discovered in the wild needing medical intervention due to poacher injuries and other reasons.
What happens when one merely breathes in this drug?
People exposed to this drug can expect symptoms of respiratory distress and even failure. Other symptoms include; drowsiness, disorientation, sedation, pin-point pupils, and clammy skin. All of these may be present within a person who has been exposed within just a matter of minutes.
Eastern Kentucky Discovery
According to Perry County Commonwealth attorney Scott Blair, he was made aware of the presence of this substance in a court hearing last week. Carfentanil can be made into pills and can be found laced with other recreational drugs such as marijuana and cocaine. Members of the public need to be made aware of the severity of this drug and its side effects. Those who believe they have been exposed to this synthetic opioid need to see emergency medical care as the results of any amount of exposure could be life-threatening.
Need Substance Abuse Help?
Kentuckians struggling with a substance use disorder, either themselves or within their families, can call 1-833-8KY-HELP (1-833-859-4357) toll-free to speak with a specialist about treatment options and available resources. Visit their website for more.