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  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    CINCINNATI -- Authorities suspect the Cincinnati area has been treated as a "test tube" by heroin dealers for use of a powerful animal tranquilizer, a county coroner said on Tuesday.

    Tests have confirmed carfentanil in the bodies of eight recent overdose casualties, Hamilton County's Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said, and more cases are suspected. The drug, used to sedate elephants, can be thousands of times stronger than morphine.

    Sammarco said the sudden surge in overdose cases raised concerns that dealers wanted to see what would happen in a community when they mixed carfentanil with heroin or sold it outright.

    "The very intense and focused spike brought up a lot of fears .... that our community was being used as a test tube," she said. "What are they learning from it? Are they looking to see how many people it's going to kill or how quickly our first responders can respond? And how many customers is that going to generate for them?"

    Authorities have said nearly 300 overdoses have been reported in the Cincinnati area since Aug. 19, with 174 reported in a six-day period. Communities in West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana also saw overdose spikes in recent weeks.

    Carfentanil has been blamed in other overdose surges, such as in Akron this summer. Cincinnati area authorities warned publicly in July that carfentanil was beginning to show up locally.

    Sammarco said the office of Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman reached out to the Cleveland Zoo and the Summit County coroner's office to help her obtain carfentanil samples for testing. She said more overdose cases since July are being reviewed for carfentanil.

    U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials have said they believe much of the carfentanil is being shipped from China to Mexico, where traffickers are mixing it with heroin and other drugs such as the painkiller fentanyl. Cincinnati firefighters said they sometimes had to use multiple doses of the overdose-reversal drug naloxone to save users during the spike. Newtown police Chief Tom Synan, who heads the Hamilton County Drug Coalition task force, said Tuesday he wants Ohio to declare an emergency and free up more resources to help local authorities cope.

    "We're bleeding profusely, and we need a tourniquet," Synan said.

    A spokeswoman for Republican Gov. John Kasich, Emmalee Kalmbach, said the state is continuing to work with Cincinnati area officials to strengthen prevention, treatment and other resources.

    "Making progress in our fight against drug abuse requires a determined, community-based commitment and a shared purpose that brings all of us together to find and implement the right solutions," Kalmbach said.

    The state last week expedited a shipment of naloxone to Cincinnati to rebuild supplies as the spike slowed.

    By Dan Sewell - AP/Sept. 6, 2016
    Photo: Script Media
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    Doctors: Naloxone Doesn't Work on Carfentanil as on Heroin

    [IMGR=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=52160&stc=1&d=1473208035[/IMGR]Cincinnati - The potent animal tranquilizer carfentanil has been confirmed as being the "unknown" opioid responsible for the latest Midwest OD deaths. Worse still, officials have discovered that Narcan isn't as effective against this powerful sedative.

    Usually, one quick spray of the heroin antidote Narcan is enough to block a person's opioid receptors and bring them out of an overdose. But first-responders are having to use two, three or even five doses of the naloxone spray to achieve the same effects.

    In the last two weeks, the Hamilton County, Ohio area has reported over 200 overdoses and three deaths, all due to using heroin spiked with fentanyl and carfentanil, a powerful animal tranquilizer. In Ohio, a public health emergency has been declared.

    And on Friday last week, a driver pulled over for driving on a suspended license in Cincinnati was found to be carrying the heroin mixture.

    In the past few years, drug traffickers have been substituting fentanyl for heroin to make the heroin go further. Now, they are also adding carfentanil to the mix, either in powder form or in capsules. Most addicts have no idea what they are buying.

    Carfentanil is so deadly that first responders are required to wear masks and gloves because the drug is so powerful that it can be dangerous to someone who touches it or inhales the drug. Police in some jurisdictions carry Narcan spray for their own protection just in case they accidentally get any carfentanil on them.

    That is also the reason why law enforcement has stopped field-testing the powders found at the scenes of overdoses. The drug is just too dangerous. NPR.org say the potency of carfentanil was proved viciously effective in 2002 in Moscow, Russia after a hostage rescue went horribly wrong.

    Wanting to overpower Chechen terrorists who'd seized control of a theater in Moscow, Russian Special Forces had sprayed an aerosol chemical into the theater to subdue them. Instead, over 100 of the hostages were overcome and died. Tests of the aerosol spray later by British investigators revealed that carfentanil was one of the chemicals in the spray.

    It's murder, and Narcan isn't helping

    Carfentanil is coming into the U.S. from Mexico and China. And the traffickers bringing carfentanil into the country are making a fortune on it because it takes so little of the drug to induce a high. Additionally, carfentanil is easy to buy on the Internet.

    DEA spokesman Russ Baer, says, "You can go on the Internet and anybody can establish an anonymous account, and you can order carfentanil directly from China."

    But even more disturbing is the amounts of naloxone required to bring someone back from an overdose. Health officials have been straining to cope with the ever-increasing numbers of OD calls because it is becoming more difficult to revive someone.

    “Our antidote, our Narcan, is ineffective,” Sheriff Jim Neil of Hamilton County said, using a trade name for naloxone. “It was meant for heroin. It wasn’t meant for fentanyl or carfentanil.” And the New York Times says some first responders could run out of the antidote, especially when they are having 20 calls a shift and having to use four or five doses.

    Tom Synan, who directs the Hamilton County Heroin Coalition Task Force in Southwest Ohio, thinks we need tougher penalties. For years, selling drugs on the street has been considered a non-violent crime. But now that synthetic opioids are being used, the penalties have to be changed.

    To me, that's just like pulling a gun out and shooting someone, because you know that a tiny bit can kill a person," Synan says. "To me, it's intentional. It's murder."

    By Karen Graham - Digital Journal/Sept. 7, 2016
    Newshawk Crew
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    Carfentanil Doses "Smaller than Snowflakes" Kill Those Who Imbibe

    [IMGL=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=52176&stc=1&d=1473293303[/IMGL]CINCINNATI — On the day he almost died, John Hatmaker bought a packet of Oreos and some ruby-red Swedish Fish at the corner store for his 5-year-old son. He was walking home when he spotted a man who used to sell him heroin.

    Mr. Hatmaker, 29, had overdosed seven times in the four years he had been addicted to pain pills and heroin. But he hoped he was past all that. He had planned to spend that Saturday afternoon, Aug. 27, showing his son the motorcycles and enjoying the music at a prayer rally for Hope Over Heroin in this region stricken by soaring rates of drug overdoses and opioid deaths. But first, he decided as he palmed a sample folded into a square of paper, he would snort this.

    As he crumpled to the sidewalk, Mr. Hatmaker became one of more than 200 people to overdose in the Cincinnati area in the past two weeks, leaving three people dead in what the officials here called an unprecedented spike. Similar increases in overdoses have rippled recently through Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, overwhelming ambulance crews and emergency rooms and stunning some antidrug advocates.

    Addiction specialists said the sharp increases in overdoses were a grim symptom of America’s heroin epidemic, and of the growing prevalence of powerful synthetic opiates like fentanyl. The synthetics are often mixed into batches of heroin, or sprinkled into mixtures of caffeine, antihistamines and other fillers.

    In Cincinnati, some medical and law enforcement officials said they believed the overdoses were largely caused by a synthetic drug called carfentanil, an animal tranquilizer used on livestock and elephants with no practical uses for humans. Fentanyl can be 50 times stronger than heroin, and carfentanil is as much as 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Experts said an amount smaller than a snowflake could kill a person.

    Dr. Lakshmi Kode Sammarco, the coroner here in Hamilton County, said her office had determined that carfentanil was the cause of several recent overdose deaths, the first confirmed cases in the county. Investigators are now examining deaths back to early July to see if carfentanil was the cause.

    “We’d never seen it before,” Dr. Sammarco said in an interview, while toxicologists and drug specialists on the third floor of the coroner’s office tested blood samples and small bags of white powder. “I’m really worried about this.”

    Officials suspect the carfentanil is being manufactured in China or Mexico and is making its way to the Cincinnati area in heroin shipments that flow north on Interstates 71 and 75. The drug has shown up in Columbus, Ohio, the Gulf Coast of Florida and central Kentucky, according to local news reports.

    Fentanyl is widely used in hospitals as a fast-acting painkiller, but Dr. Sammarco said carfentanil is rare. She said she had to call zoos, rural veterinarians, federal law enforcement authorities and a licensed manufacturer in Canada to find a sample that her office could use to calibrate their drug-testing equipment.

    Around Cincinnati, police officers and sheriff’s deputies are so concerned about the potency of carfentanil and other synthetic opioids that they carry overdose-reversing naloxone sprays for themselves, in case they accidentally inhale or touch the tiniest flake.

    Because of its potency, law enforcement agents have stopped field-testing the powders they find at the scenes of overdoses. When regional drug enforcement officers in Cincinnati pulled over two men on Aug. 26 and found an unknown pink substance, they sent it directly to the county coroner’s office; it tested positive for heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil.[IMGR=white]https://drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=52177&stc=1&d=1473293719[/IMGR]

    And as ambulance crews and the police rushed to respond to this recent wave of overdoses, answering 20 or 30 calls each day, they said they sometimes had to give people two, three or five doses of naloxone spray to revive them. Usually, one quick spray is enough to block a person’s opiate receptors and immediately jolt them out of an overdose. Some hospitals have had to give overdose patients intravenous drips of anti-opioid chemicals.

    “Our antidote, our Narcan, is ineffective,” Sheriff Jim Neil of Hamilton County said, using a trade name for naloxone. “It was meant for heroin. It wasn’t meant for fentanyl or carfentanil.”

    Like much of the country, officials here along the Ohio-Kentucky border have been straining to cope with the toll of opioid use.

    Accidental drug overdose deaths in Hamilton County doubled to 414 last year from 204 in 2012, according to the county coroner, most of those involving fentanyl or heroin.

    There were an average of 92 overdose reports each month during the first six months of 2016, up from an average of 40 during the last half of 2015, according to numbers collected by the Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center, a regional law enforcement and public health group.

    As deaths mounted, officials formed anti-heroin coalitions and task forces. Police officers and addiction experts visited the homes of people who had overdosed to try to persuade them into treatment. The Cincinnati Enquirer even has a heroin beat reporter.

    Nan Franks, the executive director of the Addiction Services Council, the Cincinnati affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, said the problem was made worse by scarce bed space at the area’s lone publicly funded detox center and a constant lack of money for treatment services.

    Ms. Franks said drugs were so cheap that addicts said they can walk through one housing project and get four free samples from dealers.

    “People are waiting for treatment,” Ms. Franks said. “We need a better response to keep them safe.”

    Five days after Mr. Hatmaker overdosed, a police car pulled up outside his home in Norwood, an independent city of 20,000 inside Cincinnati. Lt. Tom Fallon, the commander of the county’s heroin task force, was there to take Mr. Hatmaker to treatment.

    As they drove, Mr. Hatmaker thought back to how he had gotten there. He said he started selling pain pills in 2012 after being laid off from his job at an online retailer’s warehouse, then started taking them, then turned to heroin. Cycles of withdrawal, jail and treatment followed. Some of his friends died or went to prison for selling drugs.

    He said he does not remember much from this latest overdose — only waking in an ambulance and feeling the pain where medics had pounded his chest to keep him alive. The medics who saved him told him he was minutes from death, Mr. Hatmaker said.

    “I’m tired of this,” he said. “I’m tired of overdosing; I’m tired of this life. Eventually, you’re just going to die.”

    By Jack Healy - the NY Times/Sept. 5, 2016
    Photo: Ty Wright, nytimes
    Newshawk Crew
  3. Basoodler
    It seems odd that carfentanil is showing up in a very specific region... And the media still maintains the drug has traveled in the traditional routes like Mexico or China.

    My guess is that there is a very specific local source such as the columbus , Cincinatti or Indianapolis zoo who may be short on some tranquilizer.

    I mean it would be a good starting point to at least audit their paperwork and inventory. I hope this stuff is stored in the same manner that a pharmacy would , with a DEA monitored physical inventory and a drugs kept in a safe.

    Would a normal vet even need something that could knock out a full grown elephant with just 2mg of drug?
  4. Beenthere2Hippie
    I agree that there should be people doing research into where this carfentanil is coming from so they can then staunch its flow and stop it from getting a further foothold in this or any other country. But, scarier than that to me is the very real scenario that suggests that this stark reality of buying and using untested recreational white powders has become more deadly than ever.

    You're also right that most veterinarians, other than horse and large animal vets, would have no obvious need for keeping a drug as strong as carfentanil in their practices, since, as this story proves, the smallest of doses is so absolutely deadly. Why have it around then?
  5. davestate
    Carfentanyl (along with regular fentanyl and some analogues) is sold on the Dark net markets by a vendor based in France, looking at his feedback he has been doing a roaring trade.

    Unlike the chinese labs, he sells small quantities, no minimum order size which means any 2 bit bottom rung dealer looking to get a reputation of having "fire" dope could order 25mg of carfentanyl and its very very cheap. From the amount of ODs caused by fentanyl laced dope alone, it's scary to think what number of deaths could be caused

    One DNM has responded by forbidding all fentanyl and fent analogues from being sold on their site.
  6. monkeyspanker
    Ahh Ha! Just as I thought in another thread about this carfentanil shit!I bet everything I love and cherish that radical Islamic terrorists located in France are at the helm of the dark net markets selling this shit, and...selling to whom here in the US to test??

    I smell a rat and, she has big hips and, dresses like a fishwife in Brighton.

    This is madness, I feel for all my Heroin addicted friends, it's not the 'good 'ol day's' anymore, it's freakin' scary! Drug users are under attack from many, many sources. None of us are safe!! :(
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