BAD, NY (WETM) – Carfentanyl (carfentanil) is a synthetic opioid circulated in the state and made in Steuben County.
This drug is designed to help calm elephants or other large animals. According to the Steuben County’s Department of Sheriff’s Department, it’s 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl.
Steuben County’s Sheriff Jim Allard said in a statement that the odorless drug will be mixed with others to make it more effective and cheaper to sell. Medical professionals in the area fear an increase in overdoses due to the small amount required to kill a person.
“Because it’s so much more effective, the amount needed to overdose is extremely small,” said Dr. Donald Foster, DO Medical Director at New Dawn, Inpatient Addiction Rehabilitation. “The data we have now says two milligrams, but honestly, it’s very likely much, much smaller than that to actually cause an overdose.”
The drug is so powerful that just touching the substance can be fatal.
“In fact, it’s so strong that it can be an absorbed transdermal. So if you get it on your skin, you can absorb it that way and it can even lead to an overdose,” said Foster.
In a statement, Steuben County Sheriff Jim Allard explained the caution first responders should use when dealing with a possible cause of a carfentanyl overdose.
“This drug is so effective that the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency has given our first responders, law enforcement, rescue workers, and firefighters special warnings about what to do if they accidentally come in contact with it,” Allard said. “The DEA warns that Narcan may need to be given multiple times beforehand.”
If you or a loved one has an addiction, please see links to resources below or call 2-1-1 for services.
Allard called in the press release that every supplier, dealer or victim of the deadly drug is familiar with calling the county’s anonymous TipLine at 844-DRUG TIP (844-378-4847) or emailing the new one website.
“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in drug abuse and related crimes such as domestic violence and child abuse,” he said. “We know that people are hurt. But adding this killer drug to the mix of misery is not the answer. “