Hyper-Deadly New Drug Hitting The Streets Of Utah
Fentanyl is deadly and addictive. And now it's got a stronger, deadlier brother in carfentanil.
"It's 50 to 100 times stronger, more concentrated than fentanyl," said Southwest Utah Public Health director Dr. David Blodgett Wednesday on the Andy Griffin Show. "It's intended use is as a tranquilizer for elephants."
According to the website recoveryways.com, carfentanil (or carfentanyl) is "a synthetic opioid that users combine with heroin to increase its euphoric effects. It is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl. As such, it is easy to overdose on carfentanyl."
The side effects of the drug are epically bad.
The most common ones: coma or death. If a person takes the smallest amount, they risk a fatal overdose. Recoveryways.com says there are other common symptoms similar to other opioids, such as:
- Inability to focus or concentrate
- Runny nose or watery eyes
- Anxiety or depression
- Restlessness or irritability
- Muscle ache
- Fluctuations in body temperature
Users also report experiencing long-term insomnia and excessive sweating. If you or someone you know has experienced the side effects of carfentanyl, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately.
Has this deadly drug reached us here in the Beehive State?
"It's most definitely here," Blodgett said. "And it's going to get more and more common."
The most common way people are using the new drug is to combine it with another drug (like heroin) to boost the euphoric feeling it provides. Blodgett pointed out that unfortunately the need for a stronger and stronger hit is necessary as the body gets used to the drugs.
"The need for more gets stronger, but the side effects do not lessen until eventually the user takes so much that the body can't handle the side effects and that person overdoses," he said.
Carfentanyl is an odorless, white powder and is an analogue of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and is one of the most potent opioids known and used commercially.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIH), it has a quantitative potency approximately 10,000 times that of morphine, 100 times that of fentanyl, and 50 times that of heroin. It is marketed under the trade name Wildnil® as a general anesthetic for large animals. Carfentanyl is not for human use.
Blodgett said carfentanyl can be absorbed through the skin and could cause death even with the slightest casual contact with the drug.