CLEVELAND - Local police and federal agents are noticing a dangerous increase of Carfentanil on your streets.
Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson says the Cuyahoga County Regional Forensic Science Laboratory has seen an increase in seized carfentanil powder and tablets being tested over the past month.
“We have started to see a drug we haven’t seen for months before, which is Carfentanil,” Gilson told Fox 8.
Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid and large animal sedative. It is extremely potent and unsafe for human use, officials say.
It is almost impossible to detect by sight because carfentanil is often mixed with other drugs or disguised as prescription tablets.
“The blue pills are an issue,” said Commander Gary Gingell of the Cleveland Police Department. “They are very good copies.”
Local law enforcement officials say blue pills, that look like prescription medication, but contain Fentanyl and possibly Carfentanil.
Keith Martin, an agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency, said they have seen a huge increase in the pills.
“We aren’t seeing hundreds, we are seeing thousands on the streets in northeast Ohio,” Martin said.
Gilson says early toxicology screen tests revealed that last month was one of the deadliest months for drug overdoses in Cuyahoga County, at least 58 apparent drug overdose deaths.
With test results pending, it is reportedly too early to determine how many of these deaths were carfentanil-related.
“We wanted to put the alert out because sometimes the people taking the pills, think they are getting something safe and they may not be in this case,” Gilson said. “Anyone using illicit drugs needs to be aware they have the possibility of being exposed to Carfentanil.”