First carfentanil overdose death reported in Arizona, says DEA
Breaking News Apr 17, 2018
First carfentanil overdose death reported in Arizona, says DEA

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Phoenix division has put out an alert after the confirmation of the first reported death arising out of carfentanil overdose in Arizona. Reports further revealed that the incident took place in late 2017 in which a 21-year-old man was found dead in the driver’s seat of a car parked outside a Phoenix restaurant. Officials also said that the presence of the deadly drug was confirmed by the report of the Maricopa County Medical Examiner. However, the DEA maintained that the source of the drug still remains elusive.

Chris Wildblood, deputy commander with the Counter Narcotics Alliance in Tucson, called the incident “quite alarming.” He added that the drug is highly potent and is in no way intended for human use. “There’s no use in humans unless you’re trying to kill them,” said Wildblood.

According to The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the potency of carfentanil is such that even naloxone can prove to be insignificant while dealing with its overdose. Naloxone is a medication that blocks the effects of opioids, especially in an overdose.

What makes carfentanil so deadly

Carfentanil, marketed as Wildnil is often used as an immobilizer by veterinarians for large animals like elephant and is in no way recommended for human use. Its analgesic potency is 10,000 times more than morphine and surpasses that of fentanyl by roughly 100 times. Even when ingested in very small amounts, this opioid can prove to be fatal.

Off late, carfentanil, an analog of the synthetic opioid analgesic fentanyl, has found its way into the hands of drug traffickers. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a general trend has surfaced wherein, carfentanil is being added to certain illicit drugs and heroin. Since there is no sure way of establishing the presence of carfentanil in other drugs, it gets difficult for authorities to track its presence in illicit drugs available in the streets.

Need to fight menace of opioid abuse

The opioid epidemic has permeated deep into our society. Every year, millions of people meet a tragic end due to opioid overdose. The addiction and abuse of potent drugs have become a national crisis and demands the imposition of stricter regulations. Furthermore, steps aimed at spreading awareness about the catastrophic effects of drugs would reinforce the existing laws.

To everyone’s respite, opioid addiction just like any other disease is very much treatable. All that is required is timely intervention and a prescribed treatment plan tailored to one’s need. So if you know someone who is addicted to any opioid drug, reach out to a reputed rehab. This little initiative can help turn around one’s life.

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