DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a deadly cocktail which has claimed the lives of at least 19 people in Wayne County.

Since July, more than a dozen and a half deadly overdose cases have been confirmed in Wayne County — all connected to an opioid used as an elephant tranquilizer – carfentanil or carfentanyl, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Officials say street heroin laced with carfentanil is 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanil. The drug is sometimes ingested in pill form as well.

“With the confirmation that carfentanil has been linked to at least 19 deaths in Wayne County, residents and healthcare providers should be on alert to the dangers that carfentanil poses,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive with the MDHHS. “Opioid and heroin use alone can be fatal. With the introduction of carfentanil to the drug supply, the risks of use are even greater.”

Carfentinal has been linked to multiple deaths in Ohio and was suspected but not confirmed in a death in Kent County last month.


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