COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A new drug that is usually used to sedate elephants is now being used as an opioid in Ohio.
Attorney General Dave Yost issued a warning Friday afternoon about carfentanil, a synthetic opioid that veterinarians use to tranquilize elephants. The attorney general’s office states that carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Its form is usually a powder that varies in color from white, brown, tan, or beige.
The Ohio Bureau of Investigation has confirmed two cases where carfentanil was present in 2023. The warning comes after an uptick in recent usage in the state, including in Columbus.
In Franklin County, the Central Ohio Major Drug Interdiction Task Force found nearly seven pounds of the drug on the streets before distribution, per Yost’s office. They also report that a minor died of a carfentanil overdose in Columbus in September.
Near Cleveland in Trumbull County, carfentanil was identified in three separate drug cases including one overdose in August.
Each case of carfentanil identified in Ohio remains under investigation.