Elephant tranquilizer is the sad new drug of choice


A drug used to tranquilize elephants, that is 100 time more potent than the drug that killed Prince, is wreaking new havoc in the nationwide opioid crisis.

The toxic sedative called carfentanil has been linked to recent fatal overdoses in Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

On Monday, a man in Virginia pleaded guilty to drug distribution after selling $100 of carfentinal-laced heroin to a 21-year-old found dead by her mother on the bathroom floor of their home.

The substance is so powerful that an amount equal to a few grains of salt can be deadly. It requires a very aggressive treatment to reverse the overdose, and first responders are getting pretty burned out responding to back-to-back opioid calls.

The elephant tranquilizer drug is so new that some medical examiners don't have to tools to detect it in autopsies.

Hamilton County in Ohio experienced an average of 50 to 70 reported overdoses a week in early 2016 and four or five deaths.

A month after carfentinal hit the streets, overdoses jumped up with about 200 calls in a single week in August.

The drug meant for elephants is 10,000 times as powerful as morphine. Don't do drugs. Just don't do them, and especially don't do drugs meant for gigantic animals.

Read more at the SF Gate.


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