Carfentanil, powerful drug that sedates elephants, detected in Cuyahoga County

Posted at 12:46 PM, Aug 18, 2016

An extremely powerful drug used to sedate elephants, rhinoceroses and zebras has been detected in Cuyahoga County, one month after it was found in Akron.

Akron police told last month that the drug, called carfentanil, could be responsible for a huge spike in overdoses in the area. 

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner announced Thursday that the drug had been detected farther north. 

Carfentanil is 100 times more deadly than fentanyl and 2500 times more than heroin.

"Fentanyl and heroin have already killed 300 people this year and we are headed for double the number of fatalities as 2015," said Dr. Thomas Gilson.  "The detection of carfentanil here is a very disturbing development in the ongoing illegal opiate crisis. This drug is intended for use as an anesthetic in large animals, and veterinarians take special precautions just handling it. Small amounts are rapidly fatal.”