Carfentanil behind rise in opioid overdoses in Manatee County, says Florida police official

Brian Zimmerman - Print  | 

The extremely potent synthetic opioid carfentanil is the primary driver of overdose deaths in Manatee County, Fla., according to Todd Shear, the captain of the county's sheriff's office.

 Mr. Shear, along with an addiction expert, legal experts and a political representative, participated in a panel discussion regarding the Gulf Coast's opioid epidemic on Wednesday, according to a report from the Bradenton Herald.

According the report, Mr. Shear said his office has responded to 2,538 overdoses since 2015. Among the overdoses, 260 resulted in fatalities.

Carfentanil was originally created as an elephant tranquilizer and is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. In August 2016, carfentanil-laced heroin caused more than 75 overdoses in Indiana and Ohio in less than a week. 

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