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Franklin County may have its first overdose on elephant tranquilizer

Written by Becky Metrick/Chambersburg Public Opinion | Aug 24, 2017 7:28 AM
carfentanil.jpg

FILE PHOTo: This June 2016 photo shows printer ink bottles containing carfentanil imported from China. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police via AP)

(Chambersburg) -- Franklin County Coroner Jeff Conner has confirmed that an overdose death last week is suspected to involve highly dangerous drug carfentanil.

The drug, which reportedly came to the region within the last couple months, is known as an elephant tranquilizer and strong enough to be dangerous to first responders.

Conner said his office had a "presumptive positive" test for carfentanil last week, but it cannot be confirmed until additional testing is finished in two or three weeks.

The Drug Enforcement Agency reports that carfentanil, a synthetic opioid, is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl. Fentanyl, which has been in Franklin County since at least last year, is 50 times more potent than heroin.

District Attorney Matt Fogal, who is in charge of the Franklin County Drug Task Force, previously said that should his investigators come across something they believe is carfentanil, they would shut down their investigation and call in the Pennsylvania State Police Clandestine Lab Team to handle it.

Anyone with information on drug use in the community is asked to call 1-800-344-3127, or email tips@drugtaskforce.org. You can also anonymously fill out a form on their website. In the event of an overdose, call 911.

his article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and Public Opinion Online.

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