Carfentanil: A drug stronger than heroin that could make its way - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Carfentanil: A drug stronger than heroin that could make its way to western Mass.

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A new warning about the dangers of a deadly drug that is being laced with heroin. 

Carfentanil first showed up in the Ohio area last year but has spread to other states as well.

While the drug has not yet been identified in western Massachusetts, authorities say it's a killer that could turn up here anytime.

"We've gotten warnings about carfentanil that it's something we'll possibly see in the area," said Sgt. Delaney of the Springfield Police Department. 

Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid so strong, with just the tiniest amount, a few granules the size of grains of salt,  can be deadly.

"It's very strong. If you're a heroin addict, using it 15 to 20 times a day even to the most expert person using this all the time, if this hits your system it's going to stop your heart," Sgt. Delaney noted. 

He said there's a lot of competition among drug dealers , the more potent the drug, the more addicts demand it.

The potency of carfentanil are well know to those who work to help addicts.

"Carfentanil is 10-thousand times more potent or powerful than morphine," said Kimberly Lee of the Center for Human Development. 

The DEA said carfentanil is 100 times deadlier than fentanyl which by itself is to to 50 times more lethal than heroin.

Carfentanil is not only deadly to those addicts who take it, it is also dangerous to first responders who are treating those who have overdosed with carfentanil.

"When first responders or lab personell are exposed to carfentanil it can be fatal for them as well should it touch skin or enter through an open wound or a cut," Lee noted.  

The drug is so strong that it might require several doses of the reversal  drug narcan to bring somebody back who is unconscious from an overdose.

Copyright 2017 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. 

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