Ele­phant seda­tive raises alarm in Ohio

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NATIONAL -

COLUM­BUS, Ohio — Coroners in two of Ohio’s largest coun­ties have is­sued drug-abuse warn­ings af­ter the reap­pear­ance of an opi­oid so pow­er­ful it’s some­times used to se­date ele­phants.

Dr. Anahi Or­tiz is the coro­ner in Franklin County in cen­tral Ohio. She said Fri­day that the county had at least three car­fen­tanil-re­lated over­dose deaths in Jan­uary.

Or­tiz said the county, home of the cap­i­tal, Colum­bus, had six car­fen­tanil-re­lated deaths in all of 2018, with the last in Septem­ber.

Or­tiz said the drug is “ex­tremely po­tent” and al­most im­pos­si­ble to de­tect by sight be­cause it’s of­ten mixed with other drugs, such as co­caine or heroin.

Cuya­hoga County med­i­cal ex­am­iner Dr. Thomas Gil­son is­sued a sim­i­lar warn­ing Thurs­day based on an in­crease in car­fen­tanil seizures in the Cleve­land area this year.

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