Cuyahoga County Sees Resurgence in Carfentanil

Carfentanil shows back up in ohio

Carfentanil, otherwise known as an “elephant tranquilizer,” has been around for a few years and seems to pop up every now and then in different parts of the country.

When it was originally found, the public were in shock that actual elephant tranquilizers were being found laced into the drug supply.

It almost seemed like a joke at first, but it became very, very real as mass overdoses and deaths skyrocketed.

Carfentanil seemed to go away for a while but since then, it shows up every now and again in different parts of the country and, most recently, the drug has shown back up in Ohio.

The Medical Examiner for Cuyahoga county recently issued a public health warning since their forensic science laboratory has seen a big surge in confiscated carfentanil. The drug has been seized in powder and tablet form and has authorities concerned that there’s more of the drug still being distributed around the county, which could wind up being catastrophic, to say the least.

Last month is being considered to be one of Cuyahoga County’s deadliest months. There were an estimated 58 apparent overdose deaths but it’s too early to tell if any of them were related to carfentanil toxicity.

Dr. Thomas Gilson, Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner, said, “The re-appearance of carfentanil in the local illicit drug supply is alarming. This is a very lethal drug and anyone using illicit or diverted drugs needs to be aware of the possibility of being exposed to it. Having another person in the vicinity to call 911 and/or administer naloxone can be life-saving.”

I think that’s very good advice from the Medical Examiner. The reality is, addicts are going to use drugs whether we like it or not. Narcan (a brand name of naloxone) has saved thousands of lives since being made widely available and given people a chance to seek help and get into treatment, whereas in the past, they never would have had the opportunity after taking their last breath.

Narcan has saved sons, daughters, husbands, and wives and given them another chance to try and kick opioids.

No one needs to lose their life to addiction. I commonly say that any addict who needlessly dies as the result of a drug overdose is one who has died in vain because it’s not necessary and it could have been prevented. And when an addict dies, they cease to be a person and instead become a statistic.

With a drug like carfentanil running around and making its way into the heroin, cocaine, and meth supply, it’s definitely more dangerous than ever to be addicted to drugs.

There’re even counterfeit painkillers going around posing as oxycodone but are actually full of fentanyl. You can’t trust most people these days when it comes to drugs because more important that your life is the almighty dollar.

If you know someone addicted to drugs, find them help before it’s too late. You never know when your next shot, pill, or line is going to be your last.

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Jason Good

Jason has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 10 years. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Jason is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions. Jason is also the co-host of The Addiction Podcast—Point of No Return. You can follow Jason on Google+, Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.