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Posted On: 8/18/2016

Medical Examiner Public Health Warning




Media Contact:
Christopher Harris: (216) 443-7157 or cbharris@cuyahogacounty.us


Deadly Carfentanil Has Been Detected in Cuyahoga County

CLEVELAND - Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson issued a public health warning today, indicating that the Regional Science Forensic Laboratory has detected carfentanil. Carfentanil is a large animal sedative, 100 times more deadly than fentanyl and 2500 times more than heroin, is deemed unsafe for human use and is a clear and present danger to the community. Deaths due to heroin, fentanyl and now possibly carfentanil continue to accelerate out of control.

"Fentanyl and heroin have already killed 300 people this year and we are headed for double the number of fatalities as 2015," said Dr. Gilson. "The detection of carfentanil here is a very disturbing development in the ongoing illegal opiate crisis. This drug is intended for use as an anesthetic in large animals, and veterinarians take special precautions just handling it. Small amounts are rapidly fatal."

The reversal drug naloxone may also prove ineffective or require multiple doses to counteract. All public safety personnel and the public need to be aware of the dangers. It is transmissible dermally or through inhalation, so accidental exposure may have deadly consequences.

As with any other unknown powders, members of the public should not come in direct contact or close proximity and alert authorities immediately.