Deadly, powerful opioid discovered for first time in Massachusetts


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Reported by Shaun Chaiyabhat:


Drug samples tested at the Massachusetts state police lab have been confirmed to be the deadly opioid known as carfentanil.

State police said Wednesday the crime lab analyzed substances seized by state police or other police agencies. Three samples tested positive for carfentanil, with two submitted by Brockton police and the third submitted by Transit police in the Quincy area.

These confirmed tests represent the first carfentanil Massachusetts has seen. State police said they are not aware of any carfentanil overdose deaths in Massachusetts.

The discovery Wednesday prompted a major response in Brockton when a black balloon with a white powder inside was found on North Main Street.

”There are products out there now that are much more dangerous than they were a short period ago,” Brockton Fire Capt. Rich Costa said.

Carfentanil is around 100 times more potent than fentanyl and is deemed a danger to the public and first responders by police.

The drug is so powerful, it has been used to sedate elephants weighing thousands of pounds and has no legitimate medical uses for humans.  Carfentanil is also known to be mixed with other drugs or disguised as heroin.  A small dosage of carfentanil could be fatal.

”It basically can kill you, “Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said. “The real concerning thing to me is that individuals who are choosing to use, whether it be heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, they’re not really sure what they’re using.”

Cruz said one hit of Narcan probably wouldn’t save a person who used carfentanil.

The state of New Hampshire recent confirmed several suspected overdose deaths caused by carfentanil last month.

State police said the majority of carfentanil found in the United States have been produced in China and Mexico.

”It is poison, and the individuals out there selling this stuff, they need to be put in jail,” Cruz said.


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