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Scary Strong Elephant Tranquilizer Drug Hits the Streets in Houston

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Houston officials are alerting citizens to the detection of a new drug, Carfentanil. KHOU writes that it’s used in veterinary medicine as an elephant tranquilizer, and only 80 milligrams of the powder is strong enough kill 4,000 people. During a press conference, Dr. Peter Stout with the Houston Forensic Science Center said that they’ve officially confirmed use of the drug within Houston.

According to RecoveryFirst.org, Carfentanil shouldn’t be used by humans at all. It’s “derivative of fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic analgesic produced from morphine. While fentanyl is about 100 times more powerful than morphine, carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, meaning it is 10,000 times stronger than morphine.”

Carfentanil is being used to cut heroin and street fentanyl, so users are coming into contact with it without knowing it. The tiniest amount can result in death, and even forensic chemists have a hard time detecting it when it’s been mixed with heroin.

Houston Police Department Chief Art Acevedo spoke to the fact that first responders on the scene of incidents where the drug has been used will need to take extra precautions. “We are in the process of ordering better, thicker gloves for our personnel and we’re asking them to double up the gloves and put two layers of gloves on,” he said.