CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner is sending out a strong warning that carfentanil in pills, disguised to appear as OxyContin, are being sold on the streets.
The ME's Office received the drugs from the Cleveland Police Department.
"Today the Cuyahoga County Drug Chemistry Laboratory identified carfentanil in pills that were made to look like OxyContin tablets. This situation is alarming, as the potency of carfentail is substantially greater than the oxycodone found in OxyContin, and there is a serious risk of unintentional overdose in their use," said Dr. Thomas Gilson. "People who recreationally use OxyContin purchased from street sources should be aware of this very dangerous development that may result in rapid death. These fake tablets are illegally manufactured to resemble OxyContin. The supply of tablets dispensed legally from a pharmacy will not be affected by this."
OxyContin is a powerful opioid (Oxycodone) used to treat severe pain. Carfentanil, a large animal sedative, is 5000 times more potent than Oxycodone, and is unsafe for human use. In 2016, Cuyahoga County suffered 58 confirmed fatal cases containing carfentnail.
If you or anyone that you know is actively using or recovering from opioid addiction, contact Project DAWN for information at 216-778-5677. Eligible program participants, are given FREE Naloxone kits – the opioid reversing antidote.
Additionally, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County provides a 24-hour crisis hotline at 216-623-6888.