Animal Tranquilizer Found in Overdoses

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) A central Illinois county coroner has found a tranquilizer used on elephants and other large animals in the blood of two recent drug-overdose victims.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports (http://bit.ly/2oufNID ) that the drug is carfentanil . The federal Drug Enforcement Administration says it is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards says toxicology tests from a 63-year-old man who died in March and a 34-year-old man who died this month showed a mix of carfentanil and heroin.

That makes 18 opiate-overdose deaths this year in the Springfield area. Twenty-three died last year and 41 in 2015.

Edwards says the number dropped in part because more emergency responders carry Narcan , which can reverse the effect of an overdose.

She says Narcan is likely ineffective against carfentanil.

Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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