The deadly drug Carfentanil finally found its way into the streets of New Hampshire. Three deaths were reported in Manchester New Hampshire in March 2017, and there were also many other incidences of drug overdoses in Manchester as well as other places such as Concord NH and Franklin NH.
Carfentanil is a derivative of Fentanyl and it is more than 100 times more potent. Carfentanil comes in the wake of a rising opioid epidemic. Responders and law enforcement in New Hampshire had their hands full even before the presence of Carfentanil was reported in Manchester.
Spike in Overdoses
By mid 2015 fentanyl, was already responsible for two thirds of the reported drug overdoses in Concord. Even though opioids were never considered to be as bad as other substances such as cocaine and alcohol, in recent years, the number of opioid related overdoses have spiked in the Midwest and New England.
The first occurrence of Carfentanil in New Hampshire was reported in Manchester in April 2017. Three deaths and a number of overdoses were confirmed to be Carfentanil. In April, more than 26 overdoses were reported in Manchester.
In Concord there were at least 42 overdoses by the end of March. However, there has been no Carfentanil reported death in Concord. In April there were 20 overdoses reported. Authorities believe that it is now responsible for at least 40 percent increase in overdoses reported in the city.
Drug manufacturers have been using Carfentanil to lace fentanyl, heroin and other drugs. Drug dealers use it to increase the amount of heroin, make it potent and increase their profit margins. A kilo of the substance goes for a few thousand dollars in the black market, and only trace amounts are needed to adulterate heroin or cause an overdose.
Some addicts seek Carfentanil laced heroin because of its kick and longer high. Unfortunately, other users of heroin and other illicit substances may not be aware that the drug has been laced. Therefore many addicts are at risk of overdosing on Carfentanil without even knowing it. Addicts buying heroin and fentanyl available in Manchester and Concord streets may be playing Russian Roulette with this new potent drug that can kill in an instant.
Carfentanil granules look like table salt. It may not be easy to distinguish it from other illicit substances that it is often mixed with. Toxicology tests require between 6 weeks and 3 months before they are ready.
It is therefore possible that what was thought to be a heroin overdose could in fact be Carfentanil. Also, the substance may already be in areas where drug enforcement and responders thought were not affected.
Manchester and Concord have started a Safe Station program for people exposed to the drug. This provides care for addicts who require medical assistance or want to get help for their addiction. Its symptoms are similar to Fentanyl. The symptoms include nausea, itching and respiratory complications.
Due to the very high potency of the drug, anyone who comes into contact may get a seizure or die in the process. Law enforcement, health workers, and dogs involved in drug enforcement are at a risk. If you have been arrested and busted with Carfentanil or Opioid. It would be in your best interest to speak with a criminal defense attorney in NH that is experienced in drug possession laws.
By Robert Bartis