In Michigan, Carfentanil Eyed as a Deadly Culprit - Dec 2018

Carfentanil is 100x stronger than Fentanyl and not meant for human consumption. It's a chemical cousin to Fentanyl to tranquilize Elephants. Its Carfentanil and Fentanyl Analogs, not Prescription Fentanyl.
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In Michigan, Carfentanil Eyed as a Deadly Culprit - Dec 2018

Post by admin » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:55 pm

CARFENTANIL – AN ultrapotent derivative of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl – appears to have been the major driver behind a recent eight-month spike in opioid-related deaths in Michigan's Wayne County, new research shows.
  • Among the drugs driving the nation's opioid crisis, fentanyl is significantly cheaper and more potent than heroin and prescription opioids, and its analogues – including carfentanil – can be even deadlier, exacerbating health experts' concerns over their escalating role in the epidemic.
SOURCE: Dec. 20, 2018, at 4:00 p.m.
https://www.usnews.com/news/healthiest- ... n-michigan

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In Wayne County, home to Detroit, researchers detected carfentanil in 27 percent of accidental opioid overdose deaths between July 2016 and February 2017 that did not involve a medical prescription. The spike followed a year in which the substance was detected in zero deaths.

"Fentanyl has almost become a universal thing throughout the heroin supply, at least in the Midwest and the East Coast," says Dr. Andrew King, a professor at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and lead author of the study, which was published Thursday by the American Journal of Public Health.
  • Yet carfentanil is "really hard to dose because it's so potent. It requires such a small amount, that any error can really get someone in trouble," says King, who also works with the Michigan Regional Poison Control Center. "I can't say it was causal (of the increase), but it really makes a compelling argument that that's what happened."
Researchers analyzed data from months before and after the eight-month period in which 419 deaths were seen, collecting toxicology reports for all 645 accidental, non-prescription opioid deaths from July 2015 to July 2017. They identified 114 carfentanil-related deaths from July 2016 to February 2017, but saw a stark decline in the five months following. In July 2017, for example, there were two such deaths.
  • Carfentanil was the only opioid detected more frequently during the eight-month spike in mortality, the report said.
Researchers noted the decline in carfentanil deaths coincided with a 2017 announcement that China, the alleged source of much of the illicit fentanyl entering the U.S., would designate carfentanil a controlled substance that March. The country earlier this month said it would apply such a designation to all fentanyl-like substances, though the details and impact of that announcement have been subject to differing interpretations.

Concerns remain that even if the international supply of fentanyl is cut off, drug dealers and users will find other ways to get it, while others may not even realize their drugs are laced with the lethal substance.

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In Wayne County, for example, cocaine was detected in 29 percent of carfentanil-related deaths, but was not among the most commonly detected other substances in deaths involving different opioids. King says it's unclear whether users purposely mixed the drugs or whether their cocaine was contaminated without their knowledge.

King says local researchers and health officials monitor trends in the drug crisis elsewhere in the country, so they're as prepared as possible when the new drugs and methods inevitably hit Detroit and the rest of Wayne County.

Still, it's difficult to prevent the substances from showing up in the first place.

"We're sort of just stuck with responding to what gets thrown at us, unfortunately," King says.

When the Detroit Health Department detected the increase in carfentanil-related deaths in late 2016, for example, the agency "sent out letters to emergency departments warning them of the dangers," Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the health department's director, says via email.

Now, the department is prioritizing increased access to naloxone, the opioid overdose-reversal medication, and "will continue to expand efforts in 2019 to connect people to treatment and address stigma associated with addiction," Khaldun says.

Public health experts say a more expansive, coordinated effort at the state and federal levels is needed to significantly reduce the supply of fentanyl and its deadly cousins in the U.S.

Until that happens, King says, "doing heroin is going to be a Russian roulette."

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