HOUSTON – A new drug danger has hit the streets of Houston – a drug so strong, it's sometimes used as an elephant tranquilizer.
The Houston Police Department, the Drug Enforcement Agency and others came together Tuesday morning to talk about the growing concern which is related to the overall opioid epidemic.
Carfentanil was recently detected in an overdose patient here in Houston. Carfentanil is an opioid 10,000 times stronger than morphine.
Officers initially thought it was meth. Someone with the forensics center held up a tiny baggie of sugar to illustrate the size of a dosage capable of killing 4,000 people.
“One of the reasons we wanted to hold this press conference was to provide the info and try and stay ahead and again to say to the general public: This stuff is real and this stuff will kill you,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said.
Right now, Houston Police and others are ramping up efforts to deal with Carfentanil, Fentanyl, heroin, and related drugs, including outfitting more officers with the antidote known as Narcan.
So far in Houston alone, Carfentanil is believed to be related to more than 20 deaths over the past year or so.