Drug to sedate elephants being mixed with, sold as heroin - KMOV.com

Drug to sedate elephants being mixed with, sold as heroin

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(Credit: KMOV) (Credit: KMOV)

(KMOV.com) – Officials say a drug commonly used to sedate animals weighing thousands of pounds is being mixed with or sold as heroin.

The drug is called carfentanil and is used to tranquilize elephants.

Officials claim at least one death and several overdose cases are being reported in at least three states.

Dr. Sam Page, St. Louis County Councilman says carfentanil is used exclusively for large animals and is not for human use.

“It's very difficult to survive a carfentanil overdose. Frequently Narcan, which is the antidote for heroin overdose, doesn't work because this drug is so potent,” said Page.

Officials say carfentanil overdoses have been reported in Florida, Kentucky and Ohio.

Rayshon Alexander, 36, was indicted on 20 counts including murder in connection with a death and nine overdose cases in Central Ohio, according to authorities.

But Chad Sabora, co-founder of the Missouri Network for Opiate Reform and Recovery says take note, while carfentanil is 10,000 times more powerful than morphine, it will not provide the high that many users are seeking.

The potency has more to do with shutting down a user’s respiratory system than providing a feeling of euphoria, claims Sabora.

With absolute no control over what goes into street drugs, Sabora says users are too often willing to risk everything chasing that high.

“That's definition of addiction, someone does things high risk that they know will harm themselves because the power of that addiction and [the] craving is so strong, they completely lose judgment and common sense,” said Sabora.

Copyright 2016 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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