|Carfentanil is marketed under the brand name Wildnil. For years, the drug rested on the shelves of zoologists and veterinarians specializing in large animals. It's a uniquely powerful sedative. There is and never has been any human use for carfentanil.|
Carfentanil is being created in clandestine laboratories in China, which has no controls on the drug. Several months ago the Associated Press found a dozen Chinese businesses that said they would export carfentanil for as little as $2,750 per kilogram. One kilogram is sufficient for 50 million doses. The U.S. Department of Defense identified it years ago as a potential weapon in the hands of enemy nations.
|In Akron, Ohio, medical examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler has seen over 50 people die from carfentanil since July. Most US emergency doctors had never heard of carfentanil before it showed up in Ohio. It is 10,000 times more potent than morphine, and a grain of it, 20 micrograms, can kill a human. It was aerosolized by Russian special forces in 2002 when Chechen rebels took hostages in a Moscow theater, where it killed over 100 hostages along with the terrorists.|
Police in Canada will begin carrying naloxone, not to aid overdose victims, but for officers that come in contact with it. Public health teams across North America are distributing naloxone kits. But there’s one problem; carfentanil is so toxic, naloxone might not work. Police Lieutenant Rick Edwards says his officers are “giving 4–8 doses of naloxone just to get a response.”
|1) Fentanyl and carfentanil are being cut into powder cocaine — a drug used by individuals who don’t fit the usual mold of a typical addict.|
2) Some first responders are reporting the need to use 10–16 milligrams of naloxone. A typical heroin overdose dosage is 2 milligrams.
3) Doctors can't wait for naloxone to work. In the past people who overdosed on heroin would wake up after a dose of naloxone within minutes. Now those minutes could mean death if Carfentanil is involved. Ventilations are required, and possibly chest compressions as well.
4) Carfentanil causes cardiovascular collapse, (failure of circulation) in addition to hypoventilation (breathing at an abnormally slow rate) and hypoxia, (deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching tissues) necessitating advanced life support.
5) Residue is dangerous. Personal protective equipment is required around drug paraphernalia.
Russian soldiers carry hostages from the Dubrovka theatre, October 2002
Carfentanil $2,750 US per kilogram in China
|Carfentanil was responsible for two overdoses in Winnipeg late last month, according to firefighters in that city. In Hamilton County, Ohio there were more than 96 heroin overdoses and three deaths in under a week in late August. In nearby East Liverpool, the Ohio police department shared a photo of two adults who had overdosed in their car with a four-year-old child in the back.|
In Ohio’s Cuyahoga County there were 14 opioid related overdoses in the first week of September, two of which were directly related to carfentanil.
|In 2014, US authorities seized 3.7kg of fentanyl. This year, until mid-July, they have seized 134.1kg. Fentanyl is the most frequently seized synthetic opioid, US Customs reports. In China carfentanil is not a controlled substance and it can be manufactured legally and sold openly online.|
"We can supply carfentanil . for sure" a saleswoman from Jilin Tely Import and Export Co said. "And it's one of our hot sales product."
|A 10 milligram dose of the animal tranquilizer carfentanil is powerful enough to sedate, even kill, a 15,000-pound African elephant. If diluted sufficiently, a dose of the same size — the fraction of the weight of a paper clip — could also send 500 humans to the morgue. A dose as small as 20 micrograms would be fatal to humans.|
Carfentanil is an analog of fentanyl. It is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 5000 times more potent than pharmaceutical grade (100% pure) heroin, making it one of the most potent known and the most potent commercially used opioid. Carfentanil was first synthesized in 1974. Heroin cut with carfentanil offers a harder-hitting, longer-lasting high and allows dealers a very cheap shortcut to increase their supplies.
Border agents had to don hazmat suits to deal with a one kilogram package of carfentanil
|Two weeks ago, Mounties announced charges against Joshua Wrenn, 24, who was on the receiving end of a one kilogram package of carfentanil shipped from China. The Canadian Border Services Agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said they found the drug hidden in a box labeled as printer accessories. They charged Wrenn with one count of importing a controlled substance and one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking. |
The package, authorities said, could have produced 50 million doses.
Authories display 1 Kg of salt to show how much carfentanil was seized.
|Yesterday CNN reported a spike in overdoses in Cincinnati. In New Jersey 29 people overdosed between Tuesday and Thursday in Camden. In Indiana, 13 people overdosed Tuesday in Jennings County alone. In Kentucky 12 people overdosed Wednesday in Montgomery County.|
Heroin contaminated with carfentanil was also reported in Florida causing a massive spike in overdoses there.
|Like fentanyl, carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, and contact with even a grain could be enough to require medical attention in humans.|
Carfentanil is readily available on-line from any number of Chinese suppliers.
Carfentanil seizure in Vancouver in August
|Miami-Dade police narcotics detectives and FBI agents on Friday raided the home of a carfentanil dealer. The FBI’s Technical Hazards Response Unit donned Hazmat suits to search the dealer’s South Miami-Dade home. Users have injected, ingested or snorted the drug with no such protection. |
Carfentanil has been detected in the bodies of at least 107 people who died of overdoses this year, according to data by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office. That number is considered low as lab results are still pending from others. The U.S. DEA issued a public warning in September. “Carfentanil is surfacing in more and more communities. We see it on the streets, often disguised as heroin. It is crazy dangerous.”
|Across South Florida, opioids — heroin, fentanyl and its synthetic cousins — have been increasingly detected in the bodies of hundreds of overdose victims in the past two years. Many users believe they are taking heroin, and don’t realize it has been cut with fentanyl, carfentanil or other very cheaply made synthetics. Cartfentanil cases did not begin showing up in Miami-Dade until around July.|
Ingesting just a few granules of carfentanil can be lethal. It can also be readily absorbed through the skin. It is by far the most deadly of the opiates available on the street. At the present time there are no restrictions on the drug in China, it's point of manufacture.