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Carfentanil is a Schedule II Drug
  • Schedule II drugs, substances or chemicals are defined as drugs with a high potential for abuse, but less abuse potential than Schedule I drugs
  • Schedule II drugs have the potential to cause severe psychological or physical dependence
  • These drugs are considered dangerous

What is carfentanil?

Carfentanil (or carfentanyl) is an analogue of the synthetic opioid analgesic fentanyl. It is one of the most potent opioids known. Its potency is approximately 10,000 times stronger than morphine and 100 times stronger than fentanyl. It is a general anesthetic designed for large animals.

What does carfentanil look like?

Carfentanil is a white, powdery substance resembling heroin.

How is carfentanil abused?

Carfentanil is added to street heroin or is sold as heroin without the user’s knowledge. It can be snorted, smoked or injected. It can also be absorbed through the skin.

How does carfentanil affect a person?

Carfentanil can quickly reach toxic levels in the human body. Exposure to carfentanil causes symptoms similar to those of opioid toxicity and overdose including pinpoint pupils, shallow breathing, dizziness, lethargy, loss of consciousness, nausea/vomiting, weak pulse, cold and clammy skin and heart failure.

What are the health effects/risks of using carfentanil?

The extreme potency of carfentanil makes overdose a very likely possibility. Treatment of an overdose may require multiple doses of naloxone or Narcan; however treatment may not be effective. Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, the Hamilton County coroner in Ohio, stated during a press conference, “Narcan may not save you on this one.”

Because carfentanil can be absorbed through the skin, the drug poses an additional risk to law enforcement officials during drug seizures and emergency responders treating overdose patients.