Tampa Bay area deputies warn about drug with ‘incredible potency’

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFL) – The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office warned parents Tuesday about a dangerous drug.

Deputies said the drug, carfentanil, has “incredible potency.”

“Carfentanil is causing an overwhelming number of overdoses, which in many cases, have been fatal,” deputies said. “Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid with a clinical potency 10,000 times greater than morphine or pure heroin and 100 times that of fentanyl.”

There have been presumptive cases of the drug in Florida, Pasco deputies said, with overdose deaths reported in three counties.

“Parents are urged to use caution if they suspect they have found the drug. Even the smallest amount can be fatal due to its rapid absorption through the skin,” deputies said.

Carfentanil is used to sedate elephants and other large animals.

The appearance of carfentanil, one of the most potent opioids known to investigators, adds another twist to the fight against painkillers in a country already awash in heroin and fentanyl cases.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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