Drug used to tranquilize large animals linked to overdose deaths in Sangamon county


Sangamon County-A dangerous drug is showing up in Sangamon county.

"A grain of salt size of Carfentanil would be enough to kill a human," says Dr. Larry Baker of Northgate Pet Clinic. The drug Carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine. The drug has turned up in two overdoes victims from Sangamon county.

"I’'ve been hearing about this drug being present in heroine, and heroine cut with it,” says Sangamon county coroner Cinda Edwards. “People have been dying in large numbers from this drug. I was always hoping we wouldn't see it in Springfield."

"Only veterinarian's in large zoos with animals like camels and elephants would be using Carfentanil,” says Dr. Larry Baker. “Even then, they have to take special training to use it."

Most animal tranquilizers can be fatal to humans, since animals metabolize drugs faster than humans.

"Fentanyl is a drug that we put on animal skin for pain,” added Dr. Baker.  “I am trained to use the drug, but it is 1,000 times as potent as the Fentanyl used in people. It must be used cautiously. In fact, I am not even using it anymore for that reason."

The drug is also resistant to Narcan, which typically can be used to save overdose victims lives.

"Often times families of addicts or friends of addicts are given Narcan to use in case their loved one that is addicted were to over dose,” says Coroner Edwards. “In this case, it's not going to help. It's very disturbing."

18 people have died of overdoses in Sangamon county this year, A number the corner feels will most likely grow with Carfentanil present. The drug has not yet been seen in Macon or Champaign counties.

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