Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said this week that his office is currently investigating several incidents over the last several days in which victims have died of illicit drug use.
Shore stated in the course of the investigations, the drug Fentanyl seems to be a common denominator to the individual deaths and he is concerned that persons with an addiction problem maybe obtaining street level Fentanyl that is more than just Fentanyl.
Fentanyl in itself is a deadly drug that can and does result in death. However, the most recent deaths are alarming based on the fact that they are so close together and over a short time period.
Shore is concerned that the community may have some street level Fentanyl being distributed that may also contain Carfentanil. This combination is even deadlier than the Fentanyl alone.
Carfentanil is typically utilized for anaesthetizing large animals, such as elephants.
Carfentanil, a synthetic Opioid, is a white powdery substance that looks like it could be Cocaine or Heroin. Drug dealers mix it with Heroin to presumably make the Heroin stronger.
Deaths involving illicitly manufactured Fentanyl and other synthetic Opioids are on the rise, and have been since 2018. Street drugs such as Heroin, Cocaine and Methamphetamines are being laced with Fentanyl as are other counterfeit drugs made to look like the real ones, like Xanax.
Fentanyl works in the brain to block pain and is in the same class of drugs such as Morphine or Hydrocodone but is about 50-100 times more potent. Just 2 milligrams of Fentanyl can kill a person. Fentanyl blocks Opioid receptors and its most dangerous side effect, like other Opioids, is respiratory depression which can quickly lead to coma and death.
Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than Morphine and 100 times more potent than Fentanyl.
Shore wants to send a warning to people with an addiction disorder, that the street level Fentanyl, Cocaine and/or Heroin they are obtaining may be deadlier than they think.
Shore is encouraging individuals with an addiction disorder to seek help and to be aware that this drug has resulted in several deaths in Anderson County.