Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ohio is Seeing More Carfentanil Than Any Other State — By a Large Margin

Posted By on Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 1:20 PM

The pink substance is heroin and carfentanil, seized by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office in August.
  • The pink substance is heroin and carfentanil, seized by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office in August.
A new Associated Press report informs that law enforcement has seized various amounts of carfentanil 407 times in the U.S. since July, when an overwhelming wave of opiate overdoses first crashed across wide swaths of the country. Carfentanil, you'll recall, is the elephant sedative that has wormed its way into the heroin supply chain.

The drug is 100 times more powerful that fentanyl, which itself is 80 times more powerful than heroin. To be clear, all it takes is a snowflake-sized amount to kill a human, even through seemingly benign skin contact. Unwitting addicts have been shooting this stuff into their bloodstream and dying in droves.

Ohio is ground zero for this latest wave; here, the logic goes, a growing demand has spurred a new movement of dealers cutting their product with synthetic and high-powered pharmaceutical drugs like carfentanil. People are dying, yes, and still more people are seeking this stuff out.

In fact, Ohio alone accounts for 343 of those 407 carfentanil seizures.

From the AP:

The resulting wave of human misery has been overwhelming. In just 21 days in July, paramedics in Akron, Ohio, logged 236 overdoses, including 14 fatalities, with suspected links to carfentanil, according to the DEA. In the first six months of this year, in contrast, they dealt with a total of 320 overdoses of all kinds. In September, the Ohio coroner’s office confirmed eight carfentanil overdose deaths in Cincinnati, the DEA said.

The true scope of the problem is likely bigger. The seizure data from the DEA only reflects samples confirmed as carfentanil by federal, state and local forensic laboratories. Some local authorities may not have tested specifically for the drug — not all labs even have the capacity to do so — and toxicology tests can lag for months as coroners struggle with a backlog of autopsies, according to the DEA.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation