Powerful Animal Tranquilizer Found  in Local Drug Possession Case

The Drug Chemistry Section of the Miami Valley Regional Crime Lab has identified carfentanil (Schedule II) in a local drug possession case.  The submitting law enforcement agency originally thought the drug was heroin. This drug has been linked to several overdose deaths. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office Toxicology Section is in the process of testing a number of recent death cases where carfentanil is suspected.

Since carfentanil has been identified in our area, we want to reissue a previous statement about the hazards of this drug.

Carfentanil is an analog of fentanyl (Schedule II).  Fentanyl is being used at an alarming rate around the Dayton region.  The number of fentanyl cases in the first six months of 2016 has far surpassed that of the entire year of 2015.  The dosage of medicinal fentanyl is a microgram, similar to a few granules of salt.  Carfentanil has a potency of 100 times that of fentanyl.  It has been used in industry as a large animal tranquilizer. 

Anyone who handles these drugs could unknowingly risk toxic exposure through inhalation or absorption.  Carfentanil often resembles powder cocaine or heroin, but has also been seen in counterfeit pharmaceutical preparations and spray.  You can expect to encounter this drug in any of these forms.

Side effects of fentanyl analogs, such as carfentanil, are similar to the effects of fentanyl.  These include, but are not limited to, itching, nausea, disorientation, sedation, serious respiratory depression and cardiac arrest.  Personnel that come into contact with these substances should seek immediate medical attention.

Many crimes labs including the MVRCL are keeping naloxone kits available for employees that may come into contact with these substances so they may seek immediate assistance if accidentally exposed. 

Kenneth M. Betz Montgomery County Coroner’s Office MiamiValley Regional Crime Lab

Telephone: 937-225-4990 Fax: 937-496-7916 betzk@mcohio.org